Welcome to the Zion Transport Blog!

In this space we will introduce various topics in our industry that relate to you, our customer. We want to you to be well-informed and aware of how these changes affect you and how we can help you navigate these changes.

Truck Driving & Mental Health

Written by Peter Friberg.

The Marlboro Man, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry, the star quarterback, the ace pitcher…we men have these idols; guys who stand alone – seemingly – and save the team, rescue the woman, solve the problem. And we think that if we admit to a problem; a problem within ourselves, we’ll be perceived as weak. And nothing could be worse than appearing weak in front of those we want to impress.

So we don’t talk about the unsettling thoughts running through our heads. We don’t talk about the pain we feel when we’re alone. We don’t talk about how we feel we’re letting down those around us. We don’t talk about unrealized, unspoken, unmet goals and dreams. We desire close friends but we don’t open up to those people who are ideal candidates to be lifelong friends.

FMCSA's Darling Rides with Owner-Op

Written by Peter Friberg.

I applaud acting FMCSA Administrator T. F. Scott Darling, III and his ride-along. I have been critical of many of the FMCSA’s actions over the history of this blog. But there is simply nothing to fault for his actions here.

California, Truck-Drivers, and Waiting Tables; The Law of Unintended Consequences

Written by Peter Friberg.

Philosophy is so interesting to me. I love the various philosophical or metaphysical laws and try to live by them. When I think of changes that I want to make, I try to remember that I cannot control all the variables that will affect change and thus, according to the Law of Unintended Consequences, I don’t know what will happen. I have to remember that occasionally when I want one thing to happen, the exact opposite will happen.  

Disc Brakes; The Obvious Mandate - the one the Govt. Fails to Make

Written by Peter Friberg.

Disc brakes stop vehicles shorter. Unfortunately, however, their wear life is also shorter. They are also more expensive… Continuing with the theme from Wednesday, we’re surprised when a passenger car does not have them. Yet despite that roughly 80% of new class 8 trucks rolling off manufacturers’ assembly lines do not have this safety feature.

This failure-to-adopt is largely because disc brakes on trucks are quite an expensive upgrade. And many companies focus on the short term expense rather than the long-term savings.

Truck Engine-Makers Following Car-Makers' Downsizing Lead?

Written by Peter Friberg.

Back in the 60’s, Chevy’s “350” (350 cubic inch or 5.7L displacement V-8) engine was one of the most common engines on the market. During the 1970’s fuel crunch, Chevy’s venerable V-8 netted only 145 HP. Today Chevy makes a 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 cylinder engine that makes 250 horsepower.

Around 1995 the gas prices started rising and as the “War on Terror” post 9/11/2001 kicked off prices increased dramatically again. Car makers responded with hybrids and turbocharging smaller displacement engines.

In the heavy-duty truck world, diesel engines are already turbocharged but gains in efficiencies are now allowing engine-makers such as Cummins, Navistar, and others to build smaller-displacement engines that still meet their customers’ needs.

Fleetowner.com posted an interesting article about this phenomena. Make sure to check it out.

Thanks for reading.

International Roadcheck Coming; What's Stopping You?

Written by Peter Friberg.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance annual International Roadcheck (June 7-9) will focus on tire safety this year. Tires are an under-appreciated part of any vehicle’s safety profile.

Back 2007 Tirerack.com tested the same vehicle with different tires (tires with differing tread-life remaining on the tires). They tested tires with 10/32” of tread (new), 4/32”, and 2/32”. They tested the vehicle stopping on a rain-soaked test track from 70 MPH. The car with new tires stopped in 195 feet. The car with 4/32” of remaining tread-life stopped in 290 feet. And when the car had tires with 2/32” of remaining tread-life it took nearly 379 feet to stop.

Autonomous-Braking Will Save Lives; So Says Univ. Michigan Study

Written by Peter Friberg.

While ELDs are controversial at best, here’s some tech that isn’t necessarily cheap but will be effective; autonomous-braking. Jason Cannon has an article at CCJdigital.com highlighting the technology.

He indicates that according to, “[a] study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute...automatic emergency braking (AEB) could decrease truck fatalities by between 44-47 percent…” While I doubt that veracity of that number I do not doubt that this technology will save lives and money.

Dekotora!

Written by Peter Friberg.

Todd Dills has an interesting column (Overdrive.com) and link to short film by Mel Films on the Japanese “Dekotora” culture, which is basically the Japanese equivalent of American custom rigs. If you combine American customization with the flash and glamor and lights of Tokyo end up with Dekotora.

Be sure to check it out and thanks for reading.

OOIDA Sues FMSCA, Again

Written by Peter Friberg.

The Owner-Operator Independent Driver’s Association (OOIDA) filed a lawsuit to block the FMCSA’s Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate. The OOIDA contends that the ELD mandate violates the 4th Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizures. They filed their suit with 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (located in Chicago, IL). The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is the same court that vacated the previous ELD mandate back in 2011.

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