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                            Trucking News: Data Tips, Driver Opinions, IT Systems, and Rewards

                            Tips to harness the firehose of maintenance data

                            Over the past decade, Class 8 trucks have become vectors of raw data, giving fleets valuable insights into every aspect of their operation. Heavy-Duty Trucking this month explored how fleets can leverage that data to better inform truck maintenance schedules and routines.

                            They spoke with Transflo’s Doug Schrier, who summed up the reason why fleets should aim to utilize data for maintenance schedules: “Instead of basing preventive and routine maintenance intervals on a 30,000-mile cycle, carriers can use data form their engine diagnostics components sand sensors to do maintenance when it’s needed, which could be at a 45,000-mile cycle or longer. That reduces downtime, by replacing components when they need to be replaced instead of on mileage.”

                            Read the article in full on Heavy Duty Trucking, which offers fleets a glimpse into how they can use data to refine their approach to equipment maintenance.

                            Drivers chime in on shortage and on-road pains

                            Last week, American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costello said he estimates the trucking industry is short some 80,000 drivers — the gap between fleets’ needs and the number of available qualified drivers.

                            And as the Transflo news update noted last week, driver hiring and retention once again ranked as the industry’s top concern by motor carriers in the American Transportation Research Institute’s annual report.

                            Transport Dive this week detailed a short wish list from drivers they’d like to see come to fruition, which the drivers interviewed said would help alleviate some of the driver shortage woes by making current truckers more content in their jobs and helping draw new drivers to the industry. In short — more support on the road was the prevailing theme, by way of expanding parking availability, better food options, and better insights into routing.

                            Internal report says FMCSA’s IT systems still vulnerable to hacks

                            The information technology infrastructure at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the federal body that regulates truck safety, remains ripe for hacking and is vulnerable to malware attacks, according to a report released last week by the U.S. DOT’s Office of Inspector General.

                            The report comes a little more than three years after a sensitive FMCSA database, to which medical examiners upload the results of drivers’ DOT-required medical exams, was hacked and taken offline for months. Despite that event, FMCSA’s network infrastructure remains vulnerable to even basic hacking techniques, Transport Topics reported.

                            Truckers reaping the rewards of a tight market

                            Why are supply chains in such a state of disarray?

                            Last week, FreightWaves explored the question of in-depth, detailing the basic supply and demand dynamic at the root of the current dysfunction: Bored consumers stuck at home with extra cash to spend on e-commerce, combined with a sudden dearth of capacity. FreightWaves also examined a timeline of the past 18 months detailing how the current dysfunction unfolded.

                            In other e-comm and supply-demand news, Amazon Logistics reportedly has become a larger parcel delivery carrier than FedEx, and major publicly traded trucking companies have reported surging earnings due to soaring rates in a tight trucking market.

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