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Sygic Partners with Samsara to Enable GPS Navigation Solutions on the Connected Operations Cloud

sygic logistics

Sygic Partners with Samsara to Enable GPS Navigation Solutions on the Connected Operations Cloud

Sygic, a global leader in navigation solutions, announced today an integration with Samsara, the pioneer of the Connected Operations Cloud, to optimize fleet operations and enhance the driver experience.

Samsara is uniquely positioned to transform the world of physical operations. Using the Connected Operations Cloud, tens of thousands of customers can visualize their physical operations in real-time on one integrated platform. The Samsara Driver App allows fleets to streamline the driver experience with features designed to maintain compliance, optimize dispatching, and boost productivity.

Customers can now launch Sygic Professional GPS Navigation routes directly from the Samsara Driver App with this integration. It provides a seamless user experience and ensures drivers make it safely and efficiently to their destinations with turn-by-turn navigation solely on routes compliant with the vehicle and its cargo.


 

Along with routing based on specifics, such as height, weight, the number of axles, and other vehicle parameters, the Sygic Professional GPS Navigation solution also respects emission zones and HAZMAT restrictions. Map data is stored locally on the device, so drivers can always depend on the navigation, even in areas with weak or no connection. Additional features, such as lane assistance, live traffic, disabled left turns, and more, help protect drivers and avoid risky situations on the road.

“We are thrilled to have our Sygic solution listed on the Samsara App Marketplace. This integration enables customers to launch Sygic routes with a single touch via the Samsara Driver App. This brings fleet dispatchers peace of mind and confidence when planning their transportation schedules – knowing they can rely on market-leading features already trusted by over 3,000 fleets and 3 million drivers,” said Miroslav Remecky, Chief Commercial Officer at Sygic.

“As digital workflows and mobile technologies become increasingly important for drivers on the road, it’s critical to ensure intuitive tools to do their work safely and efficiently,” explained Chris Mozzocchi, Senior Director of Product Management, Product, and Ecosystem Integrations at Samsara. “We’re excited to be partnering with Sygic to provide the best possible driver experience for our customers and enable them to make the most of their mobile applications.”

Sygic Professional GPS Navigation is available on the Samsara App Marketplace at: www.samsara.com/resources/marketplace/sygic/

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ABOUT SYGIC

Founded in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 2004, Sygic is a Deloitte Fast 50 Company and, in 2012, was added to Deloitte’s Fast 500 EMEA listing. In 2009, Sygic produced the first-ever turn-by-turn navigation app for the iPhone. The company was the first offline navigation vendor supporting Apple CarPlay Connectivity and Google’s Android Auto. Sygic GPS Navigation as the most popular Sygic app has reached over 200 million downloads worldwide. The real-time Traffic Lights add-on for Sygic GPS Navigation has been awarded by the jury of leading technology experts as a top CES 2020 innovation.

The company is a member of the CharIN Association advocating for one universal charging standard – Combined Charging System (CCS) – and the leader in the electric mobility segment. Thanks to Electric Vehicle mode in Sygic GPS Navigation and other solutions, Sygic was honoured by a Global Champion Award 2021 for its contribution to a sustainable and innovation-driven emerging Europe.
Sygic’s solutions are navigating more than three million professional drivers and 2,000 fleets globally. The majority shareholder of Sygic is W. A. G. Payment solutions (known as Eurowag), which is one of the fastest-growing integrated payments and mobility platforms in Europe.

ABOUT SAMSARA

Samsara is the pioneer of the Connected Operations Cloud, which allows businesses that depend on physical operations to harness IoT (Internet of Things) data to develop actionable business insights and improve their operations. Samsara operates in North America and Europe and serves tens of thousands of customers across various industries, including transportation, wholesale and retail trade, construction, field services, logistics, utilities and energy, government, healthcare and education, manufacturing, and food and beverage. The company’s mission is to increase the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of the operations that power the global economy.

trucking myth

Creating an Employee Care Package for Trucking Employees

Trucking professionals are indispensable global workforce members. Goods wouldn’t reach their destinations without them, leaving consumers everywhere seeing nothing but empty shelves at their favorite stores.

However, sometimes, these hard-working people who spend much of their time on the road can forget how much they’re needed and appreciated. That reality opens an excellent opportunity for their employers to make care packages for their team members. Here are some great gifts to consider for anyone in the trucking industry.

Seat Cushions

Being a professional truck driver means spending a lot of time seated. More specifically, federal trucking limits in the United States stipulate that a person can drive for a maximum of 14 consecutive hours before going into a mandated 10-hour off-duty period.

Being in the same position for so many hours at a time can cause a person to develop pressure points. However, specialized seat cushions can help drivers stay comfortable while they’re behind the wheel. Some seat cushions for truckers provide extra lumbar support. That makes them ideal for people who already deal with back discomfort or want to avoid developing it as a consequence of the job. However, others don’t have built-in backrests.

Many options also exist concerning what provides the necessary support to the user. Some are inflatable, but there are also memory foam and gel-filled possibilities. Choosing the outer material for the cushion is also important. Buyers should keep comfort and user-friendliness in mind by considering things like whether the fabric is extra soft, has moisture-wicking capabilities or a washable cover.

Anti-Sleep Alert Products

Even drivers who do everything they can to stay well-rested will inevitably have some instances where they start to feel sleepy. Unfortunately, if a person experiencing that doesn’t act in time, the sleepiness could result in disastrous consequences.

Data from the U.S.National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated there were 697 fatalities caused by crashes associated with drowsy driving in 2019. Avoiding such accidents starts with encouraging drivers to take rest breaks when they start to feel tired. However, people don’t always know how tired they are until they begin nodding off.

That’s why people should consider adding an anti-sleep alarm to a care package for trucking team members. These small and lightweight accessories attach to various parts of the body, including the hands, behind the ear and the neck. They detect signs that people are getting tired, then emit audible warnings.

After hearing them, drivers would realize it’s time to pull over and take steps that’ll help them become more alert. However, feeling permitted to stop when necessary has a lot to do with the company culture. If a driver feels they will receive negative repercussions for resting when they truly need a break, some may try to push themselves too far.

Branded Coffee Mugs

When truck drivers need perking up during a long shift, coffee is usually one of the most accessible ways to get it. That’s why a coffee mug is a thoughtful item for a trucking care package. Statistics show that 62% of adults in the United States drink coffee daily.

However, the people giving these products to team members should go beyond picking a standard type sold in many online and physical stores. It’s ideal if the mug’s design features the employer’s name, logo, contact details and other specifics. Having an accessory like that helps a person take pride in where they work while appreciating the practicality of the present.

A branded coffee mug could also be an excellent recruitment tool. Truck drivers typically make from $50,000-$100,000 annually depending on experience and the nature of their duties. Those that your team member encounters at truck stops, hotels or otherwise along a route may be interested in working for a new company for various reasons.

A branded coffee mug is a smart way to promote a trucking company to others. It could all happen naturally while the recipient drinks their cup of joe while on a break. It’s also a good gift for people who aren’t coffee drinkers. After all, a person could use it for tea or even water. Staying hydrated is an essential part of remaining healthy while on the road.

Organizational Gifts

A truck is the driver’s home while they’re on the road. A clean desk can help office workers stay productive, and the same is true for a person who spends their time behind the wheel for work. Many professional truckers get creative with their methods. For example, Velcro strips are handy for attaching hard products, like boxes, to flat surfaces. However, there are also plenty of purposeful gifts that can help a trucker achieve an organizational level that helps them feel more comfortable and less stressed.

Many of them help people make the most of available space, such as by featuring designs that let storage containers hang over the back of a seat. A hanging toiletry bag is also a useful gift to include in a trucking care package, especially since so many professionals spend days on the road at a time. People choosing these gifts should also think about whether the budget might allow for getting an organizer monogrammed or adding another type of personalization.

It’s not always easy to know which challenges people encounter most while trying to get their trucks organized. Similarly, it may not be feasible to buy different products for each care package recipient depending on their needs. An alternative is to take a survey and find out what kinds of products would help recipients best stay organized. Then, purchase the items of most benefit to the largest number of truckers at the company.

12-Volt Coolers

Trying to have fast-food for every meal as a trucker likely isn’t sustainable from a financial point of view, and it’s not an ideal option for long-term health. That’s why many truckers prepare meals before going out on the road. After that, they need somewhere to keep them until it’s time to eat.

That’s why a 12-volt cooler is another fantastic addition to a care package for trucking professionals. Then, people can keep food cold without ice by plugging these gadgets into the truck’s cigarette lighter.

Some coolers even have settings that allow people to keep food hot, too. Others have extra-long cords that give people more flexibility in where they place the cooler inside the truck.

As people browse for coolers to give truckers, they’ll get the best results by trying to envision themselves in the position of the recipients. Some of the administrative members at a trucking company may never spend the hours driving per day that the professional drivers do. However, imagining the features or design choices that users would find most valuable will increase the chances that recipients genuinely love their coolers and use them during all their trips.

Delight Trucking Professionals With These Ideas

The suggestions here will get people off to a good start as they shop for items to put into a trucking employee care package. When these professionals get reminders of how they’re valued members of the workforce, they’re more likely to have higher morale, which could cause associated benefits, such as better productivity and safer driving.

truck

8 Commonly Overlooked Maintenance Tasks in Modern Truck Fleets

Maintenance is a crucial part of managing any fleet. Professionals know this going into the industry, and regular repair schedules are a standard part of most fleets’ operations, but many may not be thorough enough.

While most fleet managers understand the importance of changing their oil and rotating their tires, other maintenance tasks go overlooked. Here are eight commonly overlooked processes that should have a spot in every maintenance checklist.

1. Checking Brake Pads

Checking brake pads to ensure they have proper thickness is a standard part of many maintenance checks. However, commercial fleets often don’t check them frequently enough.

Since long-haul trucks are 20 to 30 times heavier than average passenger vehicles, they require far more force to stop. As a result, their brake pads wear out faster than even large consumer vehicles, requiring more frequent replacements. Many brake pads can also be difficult to see on a vehicle with multiple axles, so it’s easy to skim over this process.

Commercial fleet repair professionals frequently see truck brakes worn down to the brake caliper. Considering how much costlier caliper replacements are compared to brake pads, fleets should check their brakes more often.

2. Battery Testing

Another maintenance task that often goes overlooked in commercial fleets is battery testing. While most maintenance stops include checking to ensure electronic components are working correctly, they don’t check the battery itself. This is insufficient, as there are often no external warning signs of battery life draining until it’s entirely dead.

While truck batteries last several years, long-haul shipments can take their toll on this equipment faster than some may expect. For example, vibrations break down internal battery components, so traveling over miles of roads in poor condition will deteriorate batteries. To avoid any unplanned downtime, every maintenance check should involve testing batteries and, if necessary, replacing them.

3. Considering Idle Time

Any fleet manager or driver knows the importance of changing their trucks’ oil. However, many fleets may take too long to check and change their oil because they don’t consider truck idling time.

While newer vehicles can go 7,500 to 10,000 miles between oil changes, driving isn’t the only thing that works the engine. Spending a significant amount of time idling, as most commercial trucks do, also wears out the engine and its oil. Despite this degradation, many fleets overlook it because they go by what the odometer says, which doesn’t account for idling.

To account for idle time, fleets should change their oil more frequently than they would normally. Frequent checks can help determine when oil changes should happen. Internet of things (IoT) sensors can provide even more insight, alerting drivers and managers when to change their oil.

4. Preventing Corrosion on Underride Guards

Another maintenance task that’s easy to overlook is checking for rust on underride prevention guards. Since these parts don’t actively affect a truck’s performance, they often don’t come to mind when inspecting components for corrosion. Despite that, enough corrosion could make them weak, ultimately not preventing underride accidents if a crash occurs.

Workers should always inspect underride guards closely to ensure they’re not corroding, including looking at their underside and back. If there’s some rust, workers can use a biodegradable, non-acid-based rust remover. Acid removers can be expensive and cause disposal problems, so it’s best to avoid them.

5. Refrigerated Trailer Maintenance

Fleets that use refrigerated trailers should also be careful not to overlook their refrigeration systems. If these trailers start to fail, they could lead to spoiled products, costing companies thousands and costing fleets their reputations. This maintenance can also be easy to forget about since refrigerated trailers carry unique concerns that may not be immediately apparent.

Moisture can break down insulating materials faster than normal, so teams must check for leaks and moisture inside the trailer. Similarly, they should look for any punctures or tears in the walls and ensure the trailer doors seal properly. IoT temperature sensors can help inform these inspections, alerting workers of irregular fluctuations or rising internal temperatures.

6. Testing Collision Sensors

Many newer trucks come with sensors to detect potential collisions and keep drivers aware of their surroundings. Things like automatic braking and lane departure warning have significantly reduced collisions, so they’re becoming increasingly popular. As drivers rely more heavily on these systems, fleets must ensure they work properly.

The sensors themselves are the most important part to check with these systems. If they get dirty, misaligned or broken, they may not detect what they’re supposed to accurately, potentially leading to crashes. Consequently, every maintenance stop should include checking these sensors to ensure they’re safe.

Cleaning sensors and cameras will help them achieve maximum accuracy. Workers can also pull diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) from the truck’s onboard computer to see if there are any issues.

7. Looking for Leaks in Fluid Hoses

Most maintenance stops involve checking all of a vehicle’s fluids. Part of that inspection that may go overlooked is checking the fluid hoses, not just the reservoirs. A truck may have plenty of coolant, wiper fluid, oil or other fluids, but a dipstick test may not reveal smaller leaks in the hoses that could cause problems down the line.

Fluid checks should go beyond measuring levels with a dipstick. Even if these tests reveal a reservoir is full, maintenance workers should check under the truck to see if any hoses have leaks. If they do, they should replace them immediately, as even a small leak could cause substantial problems after a long drive.

8. Downloading Software Updates

Today’s trucks are technological marvels featuring a wide array of digital technologies. Since this abundance of technology is a relatively new trend, many fleets forget that proper maintenance now includes some IT considerations. More specifically, fleets must ensure all of their trucks’ onboard software is up-to-date.

Some devices may have an option to automatically download updates, which fleets should enable. If that’s not available, drivers should regularly check for updates and download them as soon as they’re available. If one driver notices a new update, they should inform the whole fleet to everyone can ensure their trucks feature the latest software.

Since 86% of commercial fleets today use telematics, they should apply this to these devices as well. Any IoT devices need regular software updates to stay safe from cybercrime and reach optimal performance.

Don’t Overlook These Maintenance Steps

Maintenance is one of the most important parts of running a fleet. While these eight steps are not the only parts of a sufficient maintenance stop, many fleet managers overlook them, leading to unnecessarily high costs and risks. Incorporating these tasks into maintenance schedules will keep fleets efficient and safe.

drivers

Reducing Incidents of Impaired Driving in the Trucking Industry

Trucking can be a dangerous profession, and impaired driving makes it needlessly more so. Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs are a danger in any vehicle, but especially in a 17-ton semi-truck. Fleet managers must reduce impaired driving incidents in their fleets in light of this danger.

No fleet manager would argue against the need to eliminate impaired driving incidents. However, the path toward that goal can be less clear. The dangers are immediately evident, but it can be harder to determine which remediation strategies are most effective.

The State of Impaired Driving in Trucking

Thankfully, drunk driving incidents are far less common in truck drivers than among ordinary passenger vehicles. While 20.6% of drivers in passenger cars involved in fatal crashes were above the legal limit in 2017, just 2.5% of truck drivers were. However, that figure rises to 3.6% when considering truck drivers who had alcohol in their system but weren’t above the legal limit.

Drug use is a more common factor in impaired driving among truck drivers. Over-the-counter medication accounted for 17% of fatal and injury crashes among commercial drivers. While many of these medicines aren’t inherently dangerous, they may make drivers drowsy or unattentive, putting them at risk.

Impaired driving may not be a frequent issue for fleets, but considering how dangerous it is, just one incident is one too many. With that in mind, here are five ways fleet managers can reduce these incidents.

Implement Strict Policies

One of the most effective methods is also one of the most straightforward. Stricter impaired driving policies discourage these incidents, as heavier consequences provide more motivation to avoid unsafe behavior. Drunk driving laws reflect this, as DUI fatalities have trended downward as regulations have become stricter.

Fleet managers can apply this concept by establishing harsher penalties for incidents surrounding impaired driving. Ideally, these policies should be tighter than local laws, imposing sanctions for lower blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. Actions that break the law should result in termination, and smaller offenses should still carry consequences like temporary suspensions.

It’s also important to formalize these policies and communicate them early and often. The more drivers are aware of these actions and their penalties, the less likely they will engage in them. Management should also enforce these rules evenly to solidify their stance on their gravity.

Install Ignition Interlocks

Technology can also be a helpful resource in reducing impaired driving incidents. The most useful technology fleets can use is ignition interlocks, which require drivers to pass a BAC test to start their engines. Studies show that programs reduce repeat drunk driving offenses by 50% to 90% after installing these devices.

Ignition interlocks can take several forms, too. Some use traditional BAC tests that drivers blow into, and these may provide the most accurate readings. Other systems use passive sensors that detect alcohol vapors in the air. These are less disruptive but may not be as precise.

Fleet managers should also use ignition interlocks to measure data and track trends related to impaired driving. Even if someone is below the legal limit and can thus drive, their readings can show trends in alcohol consumption. Managers can then notice when a driver may be at risk and take appropriate intervention steps.

Monitor Impairment Risk in Hiring

Fleet operators can also reduce impaired driving by looking for risk signals in the hiring process. Hiring managers should perform background checks to look for any past impaired driving incidents. This should apply to more than just DUIs, including crashes where alcohol was present but below legal limits.

Past driving behavior is often a reliable indicator of how someone will act in the future. One study found that 20.7% of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had a record of previous accidents. Past incidents of drug and alcohol use could likewise make an applicant more at-risk of driving while impaired.

Hiring managers should ask applicants about their history if any crash or substance abuse-related records come up. Some drivers may have made substantial strides and improved from past mistakes. Where fleets draw the line is up to the individual company’s discretion and ability to accept risk.

Improve Education

It can also help to ensure employees understand the risks of impaired driving. Drivers are likely already aware that they shouldn’t drive drunk but may feel like having a few drinks before driving isn’t a big deal. Fleet managers should educate drivers on how dangerous this can be to encourage safer behavior.

These sessions should focus on the less obvious factors, such as over-the-counter medications causing drowsiness. Point to figures like how BAC levels as low as 0.015% can impair hand-eye coordination by 20%. It may also help to stress how these factors impact the drivers’ personal safety to make it more resonant.

These training sessions should occur during onboarding and at regular intervals after. Educating employees and offering the latest facts and statistics at least once annually can help them retain this information. When they better understand the risks, they’ll be less likely to engage in dangerous behavior.

Minimize Related Risk Factors

Fleet managers can avoid impaired driving incidents by preventing situations that lead to them. Most drivers probably won’t drink on the job, but some circumstances could change that.

Professional drivers are especially vulnerable to having mental health issues like stress. This could lead them to drink or take medication when they otherwise wouldn’t, leading to impaired driving. Fleet managers can mitigate this risk by reducing on-the-job stress.

Improved route planning can help by making drivers feel less rushed, and keeping them informed of any changes has similar effects. Flexible schedules can also reduce stress by making it easier to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Fleet managers could also survey their drivers to see what would help them feel less strained, reducing the risk of impaired driving.

Reducing Impaired Driving Is a Must for Fleet Managers

Impaired driving may seem like a straightforward issue at first, but it can be multifaceted. Likewise, multiple prevention strategies should be used to attain the greatest risk reduction.

Fleet managers that employ these five steps can create safer operations for their drivers and others on the road. They can then prevent injury, ensure timely deliveries and avoid hefty legal consequences.

GPS tracking

Leveraging GPS Tracking for Automated Fleet Maintenance

Maintenance is one of the most important parts of fleet management. A good maintenance strategy can help a business cut repair costs, improve fuel efficiency, and eliminate vehicle downtime.

Scheduling vehicle maintenance can be difficult, however, especially for businesses that don’t know exactly where their fleet vehicles are.

GPS tracking technology is one of the best tools that fleet managers can use to streamline maintenance — or even completely automate it.

Why Businesses Use GPS Tracking for Fleet Management

GPS tracking is a fleet tracking strategy that uses networked GPS systems to provide managers with the real-time location of each vehicle in the fleet. Location data is often used to streamline scheduling and routing, allowing administrators to make more informed decisions when they need to dispatch a vehicle or schedule a new job.

GPS data may also enable a system to track driver behavior, including unnecessary idling, speeding, and harsh braking events. This information can be provided to fleet managers and dispatchers, as well as passed on directly to drivers.

Fleet managers and dispatchers can use the information to improve their decision-making while drivers can learn more about their own habits and practices — allowing them to identify potential areas of improvement.

These tools are popular among businesses in parts of the country where idling laws may mean hefty fines for businesses that allow drivers to leave vehicles idling. They are also frequently used by businesses that want to track and reduce dangerous driving habits that can harm vehicle health, reduce fuel economy, and make drivers less safe.

The benefits of a GPS tracking system can vary from business to business, but most will see noticeable improvements to vehicle fuel efficiency, overall driving hours, driver behavior, compliance, and safety.

Many GPS tracking systems are also part of a larger telematics system that can provide managers with even more fleet data. These systems may also include dashboards and data visualization tools that help fleet managers better understand the data they’ve collected.

With the right solution, it can be much easier to predict fleet expenses and implement new business policies that help improve fleet performance.

Automating Maintenance With GPS Tracking

The most effective maintenance strategies are preventive. Long before small problems with a vehicle become serious issues, the business takes action to keep the vehicle in the best operating condition possible.

For example, a business may hire a mechanic to regularly inspect brakes, check oil levels, change filters, or check tire tread. These simple checks allow businesses to prevent most common vehicle issues, like brake failure, frequently seen in vehicles like semi-trucks or tractor-trailers when they’re not properly maintained.

The simplest maintenance tasks aren’t usually expensive or time-consuming, and they can help keep vehicles on the road while providing other benefits — like better fuel economy and a lower risk of breaking down.

Preventive maintenance can be hard to implement, however — especially for businesses that have relied on a reactive maintenance strategy in the past.

The time and money needed for preventive maintenance are usually repaid over time, as maintenance reduces the need for repairs or the frequency of breakdowns. Typically, preventive maintenance only becomes challenging when a business doesn’t have enough information on its vehicles, drivers, or maintenance providers.

This information could be a shipping estimate on essential replacement parts, a mechanic’s availability, or the current status of fleet vehicles.

Without the right information, fleet managers can struggle to coordinate the different parts of a preventive maintenance strategy — like the business’s mechanics, tools, replacement components, or the vehicles themselves.

How GPS Tracking Makes Maintenance Automation Possible

GPS tracking provides a valuable source of information on fleet vehicles’ location and driving conditions. The system is continuously updating managers on the position of each vehicle and how drivers are operating those vehicles.

With a GPS tracking solution, it’s typically possible to create automatic maintenance alerts that instantly notify managers when maintenance is needed.

These maintenance alerts are customizable, meaning managers can configure them to appear after a certain number of hours have passed, or when a vehicle passes a number of miles driven.

Many of these solutions also track how employees are driving their vehicles, allowing managers to draw connections between driver behaviors, maintenance costs, and specific repairs.

This data can help managers identify behaviors that harm vehicle health the most, allowing them to track driver behavior and maximize vehicle lifespan while minimizing maintenance costs.

A more advanced system could also provide additional benefits — for example, by automatically scheduling maintenance when it’s needed. Using information from the GPS trackers, the system could automatically schedule maintenance and generate a route to the maintenance garage based on the vehicle’s current location, the driver’s job status, and the distance to nearby maintenance locations.

Over time, information from GPS tracking systems can also help managers understand their fleet’s schedule. With this data, managers can know exactly when business tends to be slow or when specific vehicles are available, allowing them to schedule maintenance in a way that won’t disrupt work.

They may also be able to provide better availability estimates to customers and help their team dispatch vehicles more effectively.

For businesses that have struggled with creating driver schedules or meeting client needs, these tools could help them create better schedules for their team, making it easier to dispatch drivers and complete jobs.

Integrating GPS With Other Maintenance Automation Tools

Fleet managers that benefit from using GPS to automate fleet maintenance will probably also benefit from many of the other fleet maintenance automation tools available.

Many of these tools are built with technology like GPS tracking in mind, meaning they may integrate easily with existing GPS tracking solutions or be able to utilize the real-time data these solutions provide.

For example, a comprehensive telematics and maintenance automation system may be able to provide managers with automatic alerts based on both miles driven and data collected by vehicle components — like tire pressure sensors, brake system sensors, and the engine control unit.

Using GPS to Improve and Automate Fleet Maintenance

An automated preventive maintenance strategy can help any business keep its fleet on the road. Implementing preventive maintenance without the right information may be difficult, however.

GPS tracking systems provide real-time updates on fleet vehicle locations that managers can use to make preventive maintenance much more practical. These tools can also help managers identify reckless driving or bad habits, like idling.

Combined with other maintenance and telematics solutions, GPS tracking can also help make automating maintenance much easier. The right solution can provide automatic notices when a vehicle hits a major milestone or number of hours driven.

freight

6 Tips On How To Properly Manage Your Commercial Freight

Freight transportation is crucial to the success and growth of many businesses. In fact, it can be said that without it, many companies simply would not exist. But with all of the advantages freight has to offer, there are often many reasons why businesses fail to use this valuable resource. Here are some tips on properly managing your commercial freight business to attract more customers and increase your revenue.

The Role Of Freight In World Economies

Freight is the transportation of goods and materials from one location to another. It involves logistics, which is the management of products in a supply chain. Freight also includes customs and border crossings when items are exchanged between countries. Without freight, countries would not be able to trade with each other. However, the fact remains that even on a regional basis, freight is necessary to maintain a smooth economy and satisfy the ever-increasing demand of consumers. With the rapid expansion of online commerce over the past five years, freight has become increasingly important in all of its forms. So what are some things that you can do to ensure that you are getting your share of the business?

Maintain Your Vehicles Properly

The importance of keeping delivery vehicles in good condition cannot be understated. They are arguably one of your most significant initial expenses, and by neglecting their maintenance, you could end up with substantial repair bills and lost income due to immobile trucks. This will ensure the safety of the drivers and passengers, as well as the cargo. Furthermore, it will reduce the cost of your truck repairs and maintenance to an acceptable level. It’s a well-known fact that the best way to avoid problems is to confront them before they happen. This is true with vehicle maintenance, as well.

Utilizing a proactive approach can help you avoid expensive and time-consuming repairs that may be necessary after the damage has already been done. To that end, it could be worthwhile setting up a garage in your depot staffed with mechanics capable of performing the relevant repair as quickly as possible to ensure little downtime. A great option is to teach your drivers to perform basic checks before setting out in your vehicles. The training should be done with a combination of videos and demonstrations. Videos would show the driver how to check all required items, while demonstrations would show them what to look for and how to do it.

Hire The Best Drivers

In order to be successful in the freight business, you need to find and hire the best drivers. This is because they are the people that will get your goods from one place to another safely and on time while also complying with all state and federal regulations. One of the factors that you will need to consider when hiring a driver is their past driving history. When you do this, you can better understand how they may perform on your trucking routes. A driver who has experience on routes near yours is much more likely to succeed than one who has no experience in your area. Another critical factor is the amount of time they have been driving for companies like yours. In addition, veteran drivers are likely to be much more skilled than those new to the industry, but you can also expect to pay more.

Invest In Technology

Technology is a powerful tool that can be used to make the freight industry more efficient. It has allowed for the automation of many processes and will continue to do so in the future. Freight companies need to keep track of their inventories and customers’ orders. This means they need a comprehensive yet straightforward system. A freight management software can manage all the inventory and shipment data. It will be able to show companies where their inventory is and what quantity is needed for future orders. The customer-facing website can provide information about returned merchandise, shipping status, and tracking numbers. It will also handle the process for initiating exchanges or returns and providing downloadable packing slips and invoices.

Ensure You Are In Compliance With All Applicable Laws

Compliance with laws and regulations is one of the most critical factors when operating a freight business. It ensures that the business is not in violation of any safety, environmental, or other regulations. A freight company needs to be compliant with the law to maintain its license and stay in business. You should make a conscious effort to stay up to date with any changes in regulation that might occur.

Cover Your Business With The Right Insurance

One of the most important aspects of running a successful freight business is getting the right insurance. Without it, your business can suffer, and you may not recover from the financial repercussions. Your freight company needs to get insurance for its trucks that operate on public roads. You also need commercial automobile coverage for your business use of the truck’s cargo space and liability coverage for any problems that may arise. Plus, if you are shipping hazardous materials, you’ll need additional protection in case of an accident. It’s essential to get all levels of insurance because, without them, your company could be in serious trouble should accidents happen or something goes wrong while transporting cargo.

Manage Fuel Consumption

Fuel consumption is an essential factor when it comes to running a profitable fleet. Fuel efficiency can be decreased by driving too fast, using the wrong type of fuel, and driving with worn-out tires. Plus, if they are not adequately maintained, vehicles will lose their fuel efficiency. Most of this will ultimately come down to driver training and informing them of how you expect them to drive. Some other tips you can follow to decrease consumption include:

-Use a fuel management system

-If your drivers can save more, reward them

-Check the tachograph for speeding infractions

-Optimize routes to make them as efficient as possible

If you want to maximize your ROI, it is imperative that you know how to manage your commercial freight business properly. This can involve ensuring that your fleet is constantly maintained and that your drivers are fully trained, among other things.

hauliers

How Can Hauliers Cope With an Even Higher Demand This Christmas?

The Christmas rush is something hauliers anticipate every year. But it’s going to be felt more acutely this year with the additional pressures of a driver shortage and Brexit affecting the supply of some goods.

The haulage sector is set to experience its busiest Christmas period on record. On top of the usual increase in demands, there’s the perfect storm of the HGV driver shortage and supply chains impacted by Brexit and COVID. By focusing on increasing efficiency and reducing empty running, hauliers can meet these higher demands and ensure their customers receive the highest level of service.

This means hauliers will need to be even more efficient and prepared in order to meet the demands of businesses and consumers this Christmas.

Here, we cover how hauliers can cope with arguably the most demanding Christmas we’ve ever experienced.

Make planning more efficient

Efficient planning is paramount to success for all hauliers, but never has it been more important than right now. A Logistics UK survey revealed that 96% of hauliers are struggling to recruit drivers, with 13% saying their shortage is severe to very severe. To meet high demands with a potentially depleted workforce, hauliers need to get the most out of their available resources.

That’s where route planning software comes in. By feeding in all the collections and deliveries you need to make, and your vehicle and driver availability, you’ll be able to plan the most efficient routes and get the most out of your fleet.

With these solutions, you’ll have one view of your business supported by real-time information. Your planners can then make informed decisions. In the hectic traffic rush leading up to Christmas, it’s critical you can identify and manage exceptions as deliveries progress because it’s undoubtedly the busiest period on the road.

Eliminate empty running

When you have a larger-than-usual task on your hands to keep up with demand this Christmas, running empty seems even more wasteful than usual. Yet, for many hauliers, this is the case on their return journeys. If your drivers travel back empty from Glasgow to Plymouth on their return journey, for instance, that’s a lot of wasted mileage.

Using a freight exchange platform gives hauliers the opportunity to not only make the most of their journeys but also serve more customers in a time of increased demands. This can help optimize fleets in the short term and also enables hauliers to expand their network to connect with new shippers. Haulage companies with loyal customers but limited resources have the opportunity to subcontract their excess work on these platforms, meaning they can still take on additional haulage loads and get customers’ jobs done.

Allow your drivers to do more in their workday

The changes to drivers’ hours, which means drivers can work up to 11 hours a day twice a week, has been extended once again to January. But we know that making already overworked drivers work longer hours isn’t the solution, especially when many of the drivers who’ve left the sector have done so due to poor working conditions.

Giving your drivers the tools they need to achieve more in their workday is a much better solution. Not only will this allow your business to be more efficient, but you’ll also improve their satisfaction by making their jobs easier. Let’s face it, dealing with paper proof of deliveries is difficult to manage and adds time to their day.

It’s these inefficient processes that can frustrate drivers, cause delays, and even result in them finishing their day later than expected. It’s no wonder that drivers are leaving businesses that aren’t addressing this problem. Using digital tools like electronic proof of delivery and apps that provide real-time details of their deliveries allows them to focus on the job and get more done in their day.

Maintenance Inspections

What New Fleet Managers Can Expect From Maintenance Inspections

Managing a fleet can be a fulfilling experience, but it also includes a lot of responsibility. New managers must understand and anticipate these responsibilities so that they can operate legally, safely and efficiently.

One of the many considerations new fleet managers must keep in mind is the need for regular maintenance inspections. While anyone in the industry understands that regular maintenance is important, the specifics may be less clear.

With that in mind, here’s what new managers should expect in this area.

Why are Maintenance Inspections Necessary?

First, it’s important to understand that regular maintenance checks aren’t just recommended but mandatory. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all motor carriers to regularly inspect, repair and maintain all of their vehicles. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines and other legal damages.

Apart from the legality of the situation, these inspections can help fleet managers minimize operating costs. Failing to inspect some components can lead to costly repairs and replacements, so it’s best to catch any potential issues early when repairs are more straightforward.

These inspections are also a critical part of vehicle safety. Without them, drivers may unknowingly be putting themselves and others at risk, as equipment failures can cause accidents.

How Often Do You Need Maintenance Inspections?

Fleet managers should also know how often to perform these inspections to optimize their schedules. Since every vehicle carries unique maintenance needs, the FMCSA leaves some room for interpretation in this area. Fleets must perform inspections at least annually, but some emergency systems, like emergency doors, need inspections every 90 days.

For optimal performance and safety, inspections should be more frequent than the minimum requirement. Diesel vehicles require work less frequently than their gas counterparts, which can help save costs, but it’s still best to check them regularly. What this schedule should look like varies between use cases, but going by miles driven may be more effective than going by time.

What Should Maintenance Inspections Include?

When it comes time for the actual inspection, fleet managers should keep a few factors in mind. First, they can choose to either perform the inspection themselves or have a qualified third party do it. The former option may be more cost-effective, but it also requires a knowledge base and reporting system that smaller companies may not have.

Whether fleet managers perform their own inspections or rely on a third party, they should look for a few specific factors. Here’s a closer look at these specifics.

Qualified Inspectors

The FMCSA outlines some requirements for who can perform these maintenance inspections. These qualifications are fairly straightforward for most of the inspection process. Employees or third parties must have knowledge and proficiency in the necessary methods, procedures and tools, but the FMCSA doesn’t define what that specifically entails.

Brake inspection qualifications are more rigid. Brake inspectors must either complete a state, Canadian province or union-sponsored apprenticeship program or have at least one year’s experience in brake maintenance.

When looking for third-party inspectors, fleet managers should look for these qualifications or, ideally, higher standards. Similarly, if fleets inspect their own vehicles, they should require employees to meet these qualifications.

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation

Fleet managers should also understand what specific components and systems they should check. The FMCSA says maintenance inspections must cover “parts and accessories which may affect safety,” which can apply to most parts of a vehicle. Inspectors can refer to the FMCSA’s extensive list of parts for reference, but the most important areas to cover are fairly evident.

Engines, steering systems, brakes, seatbelts, wheels and the like all fall under this scope. Some of these parts will require more regular inspection than others, so fleets should schedule inspections of varying depth. As for how often to inspect each area, it’s safest to go by the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Emergency Features

Vehicles with some extra emergency features need to undergo additional inspections, too. Many buses, for example, have systems like emergency doors, pushout windows and lights marking these features. If fleets have any vehicles with these types of systems, they need to check them every 90 days to ensure they work properly.

These emergency features can mean the difference between life and death in some scenarios, so the FMCSA takes them seriously. Fleet managers should likewise pay close attention to these systems, ensuring they receive more maintenance and inspection than other parts. If there’s anything wrong with them, fleets should repair or replace them as soon as possible.

Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports

Driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) are another important part of maintenance inspections. These are reports that drivers write up at the end of each driving day that identify any potential issues they’ve noticed. Fleet managers likely already collect these records, but they must save them and ensure they meet standards to satisfy the FMCSA.

According to FMCSA guidelines, DVIRs should cover:

-Brakes

-Steering mechanisms

-Lighting devices and reflectors

-Tires

-Horns

-Windshield wipers

-Mirrors

-Coupling devices

-Wheels and rims

-Emergency equipment

Drivers can look at other parts and accessories, too, but these are the only required factors. If DVIRs report any issues, fleets must resolve them before operating the vehicle again.

Thorough Records

No matter what the specifics of a maintenance inspection look like, fleet managers must keep thorough records. Every time an employee performs a check, the company should record it in a safe, accessible place. If the fleet faces an audit from the FMCSA or needs to check the maintenance history to inform a repair, these records are crucial.

The FMCSA requires fleets to keep DVIRs for at least three months and records of annual and roadside inspections for at least a year. That will quickly add to a lot of storage, so fleet managers should consider using an electronic system for recording and organizing this information.

Fleets should also record any repairs they have to perform on vehicles. To help keep things organized, all reports should include vehicle identification information like the make, model, year and serial number.

Maintenance Inspections Are a Crucial Part of Fleet Management

Maintenance inspections can account for a significant portion of fleet operations. New fleet managers must understand these factors to prepare accordingly, enabling efficient, safe and compliant operations.

Every fleet’s maintenance inspections will look slightly different, but these general guidelines apply across every fleet. Managers should take these guidelines, then apply and adjust them to their specific situation. They can then meet relevant regulatory requirements and keep drivers safe.

drivers

Moving Forward: The Critical Need to Support Truck Drivers

“Disruption” may have been 2020’s word of the year. Both the coronavirus and the economy impacted lives, leaving no industry untouched. When the nation’s GDP hit bottom in Q2 2020, it essentially wiped out any economic gains generated over the previous five years.

While the trucking industry was affected by logistics and supply chain issues and personnel shortages last year, many analysts have predicted a strong recovery. Since mid-year last year, freight demand has continued to regain its momentum. Trucking companies still face several challenges, however, the greatest of which is its long-standing struggle to recruit, train, and retain enough professional drivers to meet demand.

The economy’s recovering — but driver shortages remain

According to the latest ATA survey on driver turnover, rates:

-Fell to 87% in Q1 2021 from 90% in 2020 at large for-hire truckload carriers ($30M+ annual revenue).

-Increased from 69% to 72% at small truckload carriers.

-Increased to 18% from 13% in the less-than-truckload (LTL) sector.

American Transportation Association (ATA) chief economist Bob Costello said, “While the driver shortage temporarily eased slightly in 2020 during the depths of the pandemic, continued tightness in the driver market remains an operational challenge for motor carriers and they should expect it to continue through 2021 and beyond.”

Even though the market is in an upturn, ATA’s most recent survey found carriers reluctant to grow their fleets. Fleet sizes have decreased 6% for large carriers, 4.9% for small carriers, and 0.9% for LTL.

In the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI)’s Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry 2020 report, respondents recommended several strategies to help strengthen the trucking and fleet sector. One strategy includes repealing or reforming ineffective, burdensome regulations negatively impacting the trucking industry. For example, most in the industry have favored adaptations of the Hours-of-Service (HOS) rule.

In 2020, the top HOS strategist advocated for additional flexibility in the sleeper berth provision, allowing a 7-3 split of hours. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has continued exploring whether to modify HOS rules for highly automated trucks, while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is conducting research to “increase understanding of the human factors and address specific areas such as driver readiness.”

DRIVE-Safe Act

This bipartisan legislation could help to address the looming driver deficit, which is projected to reach 160,000 or more by 2028. Continued growth in freight demand combined with anticipated retirements could result in the industry needing to hire 1.1 million drivers over the next 10 years — or almost 110,000 drivers each year.

The DRIVE-Safe Act introduces a rigorous two-step apprenticeship program. It would allow younger drivers (between ages 18 and 20) to apply and train to drive trucks. Candidates complete at least 400 additional training hours, and an experienced driver would accompany apprentices on the road. These drivers-in-training would be required to drive trucks equipped with the latest transportation management software and safety technology like:

-Active braking collision mitigation systems.

-Forward-facing event recording cameras.

-Speed limiters set at 65 MPH or less.

-Automatic or automatic manual transmissions.

Meeting demand

The trucking industry continues working to meet demand. 2020 saw a 36% increase from 2019 in the number of entities (almost 58,000) to which FMCSA granted carrier authority. But the pandemic has lengthened the time needed to train and license new drivers. An additional 54,000 drivers became ineligible once the new FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse launched last year.

One solution to attracting and retaining more drivers includes increasing pay, which has increased dramatically recently. Fleets of all sizes now offer rolling pay increases and even signing bonuses of $10,000 or more. Ironically, pay increases may be contributing to the driver shortage, because some drivers earning more have chosen to drive fewer hours.

While long-haul trucking jobs have high turnover rates — a metric many point to as the reason for the driver shortage — this trend wasn’t caused by high employee dissatisfaction but rather the drivers themselves bouncing between companies.

Attracting (and keeping) drivers

Trucking companies and fleets have turned to a variety of strategies to combat the driver shortage, including increased pay and sign-on bonuses. But it isn’t just higher salaries. Drivers want more control over their workdays and environments. One tactic to help drivers achieve the balance they desire? Workflow software and route optimization.

Technology adoption has driven efficiency gains within the trucking industry as more trucking companies have embraced digital transformation. It isn’t just shifting office staff from in-person to remote work or using video conferencing to communicate. Fleets use data analytics to improve utilization. Contactless payment systems and electronic bills of lading have reduced touchpoints and friction.

Trucking software helps fleets more efficiently track drivers, manage dispatch records, monitor interstate fuel tax agreement (IFTA) reports, optimize driver routes, pay invoices, save fuel costs, track vehicle maintenance records and more.

Fleet management platforms also help drivers work smarter, not harder. The cloud-based software and accessible data allow fleet managers to analyze information for insights to optimize driver workflow. Mobile ELD and workflow solutions empower drivers to more effectively manage work processes and routes, setting them up for success by taking the guesswork out of compliance and reducing frustration, uncertainty and inaccuracy.

Truck drivers are essential workers and critical for sustaining a functioning economy. The pandemic highlighted not just their importance, but the importance of the transportation and supply chain industries, too. As the pandemic ebbs, the world rebalances and the economy continues its recovery, fleets and trucking companies will continue to make their deliveries and transport goods from coast to coast.

Implementing the tools of digital transformation — like driver workflows and other fleet management software — will prove to be another useful tactic for attracting and retaining drivers, ensuring their safety, and empowering drivers to simplify their daily workload and operate more productively, while still achieving high-performance standards.

___________________________________________________________________

Avi Geller is the founder and CEO of Maven Machines. Since 2014, Avi has led Maven’s growth as an IoT platform that serves the transportation industry through real-time, mobile cloud enterprise software. Avi originally hails from Palo Alto, California, but started Maven in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania due to the city’s impressive innovation and technology resources. Prior to founding Maven, he held international positions with SAP and contributed to the growth of several successful software companies and startups. Avi also has an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Northwestern University.

truck accident

5 Steps Trucking Employees Should Take When Involved in a Truck Accident

As a trucker, safety is your number one priority. When an accident happens, there’s a lot to consider. 

How do insurance claims work? Who is liable? Who will pay for your medical bills? When can you return to your job? It’s an intimidating situation, to say the least.

As a Houston truck accident lawyer and head of my own personal injury firm for over 20 years, I’m here to give you the details. Below you’ll find the steps you need to take for a smooth recovery—physically and financially.

Truck Accident Liability: Who’s At Fault?

The basis of every personal injury case is simple: someone’s negligence hurt someone else. The negligent person is known as the “liable” or “at-fault” party.

In truck accident cases, there could be multiple liable parties and multiple insurance companies to deal with. The goal of a truck accident lawyer is to determine which parties should be held responsible for an injured victim’s losses and expenses, and then pursue maximum compensation from all the available sources.

So who is liable for a truck accident? 

In general, trucking companies are responsible for accidents caused by their drivers as long as the driver is “on the clock” at the time of the accident, acting “within the scope of employment.” Exceptions to this rule include: 

-if the driver was an independent contractor

-if the driver intentionally caused the accident

-if the driver was given a ticket

Were you given a ticket at the scene of the accident? You’re more likely to be placed at fault if you broke the law by speeding, driving under the influence, or violating company regulations, just to name a few possibilities.

If you were employed by a company, the injured victim(s) will probably go after your employer, not after you individually. This is because trucking companies tend to hold commercial insurance policies with higher payout limits.

There are many ways a trucking company could contribute to an accident. For example, did these employers fail to properly service their trucks? Did they set unreasonable goals for their truckers, forcing them to drive in unsafe conditions or exceed federal restrictions for the number of driving hours? Did they hire irresponsible drivers without doing background checks? Did they fail to provide proper training? There are a ton of possibilities, and a truck accident lawyer will investigate them all.

Here are other potentially liable parties in a truck accident:

Other Motorists

Drivers in smaller cars can cause trouble for big trucks. Did an aggressive driver cut you off? Did traffic come to a sudden standstill? Many factors come into play here.

Truck Manufacturers

Auto parts manufacturers are responsible for producing safe vehicles and parts free of defects. If a faulty auto part causes an accident, the manufacturing company may share the blame for the accident. Truck accident lawyers, crash reconstruction experts, and investigators can help you get to the bottom of this.

Fleet Mechanics

Fleet mechanics conduct routine inspections on trucks to ensure they’re safe to take on the road. If a mechanic fails to notice a problem that later causes a wreck, it can quickly turn into a matter of life and death! They could potentially be liable for accident-related damages.

Whoever Loaded the Truck

Did cargo fall off of the truck and cause an accident? Did the shifting weight of an unsecured load contribute to a rollover? In scenarios like these, it’s important to find out who loaded the truck and what company they worked for. Shippers and loaders may be held responsible for any accidents related to unsecured cargo.

Remember: truck drivers are protected from retaliation under federal law. You cannot be fired for reporting hazardous working conditions to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). If you notice shady practices, speak up. You could save a life.

Other Common Causes of Houston Truck Accidents

Speeding

If you need to meet a particularly tight deadline, you may be tempted to go over the speed limit. Don’t press your luck. “Failure to control speed” was a factor in more than 113,000 auto accidents in Texas last year. 475 were fatal.

Distracted Driving

This is a broad category: snacking, checking a map, talking on the phone, you name it! Always remember to check your blind spots, and never engage in any behavior that takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, or your mind off of driving.

Fatigued Driving 

Unfortunately, exhaustion is a common issue among long-haul truck drivers. That’s why the FMCSA wants you to keep your logbooks up-to-date and allow for adequate break times. Did you know drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving? Speaking of…

Driving While Intoxicated

In 2020, there were 75 fatal DUI accidents in Houston alone. Drunk driving contributed to an additional 2,280 accidents in the city. Trucking companies are supposed to conduct routine drug tests, but they don’t always follow this rule. Never turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with the stress and monotony of long journeys. 

Mechanical Problems

Tire blowouts, faulty brakes, and shifting cargo can all cause problems for large trucks. This is why they require thorough routine inspections. Trucking companies are responsible for conducting these inspections and properly maintaining their fleet in order to keep everyone on the road safe and sound.

Environmental Factors

Even if you’re a safe and responsible driver, you may be unlucky enough to encounter roads with sudden or sharp curves, unexpected debris, or bad weather conditions like wind and rain. All of these increase the likelihood of a truck accident.

What Do I Do After a Truck Accident?

Now you know who might be liable for a truck accident, but how do you prove it?

After any accident, follow these steps:

#1. Call 911 

Truck accidents often leave devastating injuries in their wake. Even if no one seems injured, you still need to call to report the accident, and the police need to visit the scene so they can create an accident report. 

Note: Texas law requires you to report any auto accident that involves injury, death, or more than $1,000 of property damage.

In addition to a police accident report, your company should have established a process on how you can create your own accident report. Your report will include as many details as possible, such as the date, time, weather conditions, and location of the accident, and contact information and insurance information for anyone else who was involved. Do not leave the scene of the accident until an officer instructs you to. 

#2. Exchange Info and Collect Evidence

Stop and exchange contact info and insurance info with everyone involved. Carefully take photos of the vehicles and surrounding area. Don’t make a statement, don’t admit fault, and don’t speculate! It sounds easy enough, but when you’re nervous and stressed, you may say things that will harm your claim.

It’s important to preserve all evidence as soon as possible. Truck accident lawyers know how to track down every bit of available evidence, such as:

-Photos of the accident scene and damaged property

-Eyewitness testimony

-Police reports (Note: police reports don’t always determine fault, and when they do, they aren’t always 100% correct.)

-Truck black boxes (These devices record info like the speed at which the truck was traveling, how long the driver was on the road, and when they used their brakes.)

-Dashcam footage or other surveillance videos

-Logbooks and trucking company records

-Cell phone records

-Medical records

Subpoenas allow your truck accident attorney to access trucking company logbooks, truck GPS system records, the black box, cell phone records, and more. These sources provide valuable supporting evidence for your Houston truck accident case, helping you maximize your settlement.

#3. Go to a Doctor ASAP

After a truck accident, prompt medical care is important. Even if you weren’t whisked away in an ambulance, you need to see a doctor and follow through with any recommended medical treatment. 

The treatment process uncovers details about injuries you suffered in the crash and how they’ll change your daily life. When accident victims try to ignore their aches and pains, the results are never good. Sometimes, symptoms of serious injuries don’t appear until days after the accident. Additionally, insurance adjusters will use any “gaps in treatment” to deny your claim. Don’t delay.

Lawyers have networks of doctors, therapists, investigators, and other experts. Together, they collaborate on cases and help injured victims recover. Whether you need x-rays, physical therapy, a rental car, or all of the above, we’ve got you covered. Best of all, you won’t pay a cent out of your own pocket. Thanks to liens and letters of protection, your lawyer can coordinate payment with various providers via a portion of your final truck accident settlement. You won’t have to worry about following up and settling these bills—that’s our job, too!

#4. Report the Accident, But Never Give A Recorded Statement

If you are working for a trucking company, they should provide you with insurance coverage, but you’ll still need to call and report the accident. Proceed with caution! Insurance adjusters might act friendly, but they’ll twist your words and accuse you of exaggerating your losses. They’ll ask you for a recorded statement, and anything you say can—and will—be used against you! 

There is no obligation to provide a recorded statement to the insurance company. 

Bottom line? Don’t let anyone pressure you. Your best option is to direct all further communication to your truck accident attorney. Insurance companies aren’t on your side, but a truck accident lawyer can be a vital ally against them. Let us protect your rights and your finances.

Most accident claims settle out of court during the negotiation phase. However, if you cannot reach an agreement even with the help of a mediator, you’ll move on to litigation.

#5. Contact A Local Truck Accident Lawyer

Most Houston truck accident lawyers work for a contingency fee. This means you pay nothing upfront and nothing at all unless you win; payment is entirely contingent on the success of your case. Put simply, we don’t get paid unless you get paid! Legal fees are taken from a percentage of your final settlement award. This percentage is usually discussed during your initial consultation, and this arrangement ensures the lawyer’s goals are aligned with your goals.

Houston Truck Accident FAQ

Will I Get Penalized for a Truck Accident?

All commercial truckers need a  Commercial Driver’s License (CDL.) Since your CDL is regulated by the Federal Government, fines and other punishments may be stricter for you than for the average person.

Additionally, you will have to undergo drug and alcohol testing soon after the crash. Bad results could get you fired on the spot. Your license may even be revoked, preventing you from continuing in the trucking industry. 

Having an accident doesn’t always mean you will be fired, but keep in mind your driving history and criminal record may be checked. Further, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that each motor carrier shall conduct an annual inquiry/review of the driving record for each driver under their employ, where they’ll see any “points” on your license. If you have more than one accident on your record, it will be tough to find another truck driving job.

What if I’m Partly at Fault for the Truck Accident?

Texas is a “proportionate responsibility” state, so even if you’re found partially at fault for a truck accident, you can still recover damages. You just have to be less than 50% at fault. Reach out to a Houston truck accident lawyer for more info on how fault is determined.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim in A Fatal Houston Truck Accident?

The Texas Wrongful Death Act allows certain relatives to pursue compensation if they’ve lost a loved one in a truck accident. The surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased victim can sue for the damages and suffering associated with the loss of their loved one. They can file the claim either individually or together as a group. If no one files within three months of the date of death, a representative of the estate can file on their behalf.

What Are My Potential Damages? 

The money you collect from a personal injury claim is known as your “damages.” Damages are divided into different categories.

Economic Damages 

Economic damages include things like property damage and medical bills. The exact amounts of these losses and expenses are easily proven with copies of your bills and receipts. Additionally, if you had to take time off work while recovering from your injuries, you can be compensated for your lost wages. This can be done by providing past pay stubs, timesheets, and/or a statement from your employer. If your injuries are severe enough to permanently change the course of your career, your lost earning capacity will be included in your damages as well. Sound confusing? Don’t worry; a lawyer can help you keep track of everything.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to more abstract losses like your pain and suffering. In addition to being emotionally distressing, your Houston truck accident might cause you to miss important events, quit your hobbies, or leave you unable to support your family. PTSD symptoms like insomnia and anxiety would also be included under pain and suffering.

Punitive Damages

A third category known as punitive damages applies only in scenarios where the at-fault driver was particularly reckless. (For example, if the other driver was arrested for drunk driving at the time of the crash.) Punitive damages exist to punish the at-fault driver for bad behavior and discourage others from being negligent.

When Should I Hire A Truck Accident Lawyer? 

When should you hire a Houston truck accident lawyer? 

As soon as you can! 

It may shock you to hear all truck accident cases have a time limit known as the statute of limitations. This differs from state to state, but the statute of limitations in Texas is two years.

Two years seems like a long time, but your team will need time to investigate and compile evidence. The countdown starts the moment your accident happens. If you don’t take action before the deadline, the case may be thrown out entirely. Protect your rights by contacting a truck accident lawyer.

Still Lost? Free Consultations Available Now

Handling a truck accident case is a full-time job. Don’t do it alone. Let an experienced Houston truck accident lawyer handle the messy details while you focus on what matters most: your health and recovery.

Since they’re well-versed in commercial trucking regulations and industry standards, truck accident lawyers can help you secure way more compensation than you ever could alone. Entering the showdown alone could mean you miss out on thousands or even millions of dollars of a truck accident settlement.

Don’t miss out on the money you need. 

Get a free case evaluation from a Houston truck accident lawyer today!