Roll video: The safety benefits of dashcams
If you’re still driving without a dash camera, you’re missing the best liability protection money can buy, reports The Trucker. Even company drivers should consider owning their own dashcam in addition to what their employer provides. Here’s why, and what to look for in a camera:
- Commercial-level quality. Make sure your camera is rugged enough to stand up to a commercial truck environment. Not every camera can stand up to vibrations and all-day use.
- Multiple angles: Look for a device that takes video footage from all angles for a more complete picture of what happened. Can the camera capture a sideswipe collision?
- Cab-facing cameras: Transflo’s dashcams have an optional cab-facing camera with a beam that bounces off the driver’s retina. If the driver looks away from the camera for a few seconds, an alert will sound. It provides an extra measure of safety for drivers and fleets that want a two-way view.
A camera with telematics capability can benefit both the driver and the fleet operator. The Transflo Mobile+ platform allows fleet managers and drivers to quickly correspond and document the scene (including photos and video footage). It’s essential at a time when drivers and their employers are increasingly targets of liability cases.
Used-truck prices start to slip
After nearly 18 months of record-setting gains, prices for used trucks sold in the auction and retail channels slowed in April, J.D. Power said in its May 2022 Commercial Truck Guidelines industry report.Owner-operators, small carriers, regional distributors, and drayage fleets are key buyers of used equipment.
J.D. Power said the price paid for three- to five-year-old trucks in April averaged 2.1% less than in March. A model-year 2019 tractor averaged almost $113,000, nearly $5,000 less than the previous month.
“The socioeconomic effect of the post-shutdown ‘return to normality’ is emerging as we near the second half of the year,” J.D. Power said. Falling spot rates and cooler volumes, combined with “a greatly expanded number of seated trucks available to move that freight,” is driving the pullback from extreme used-truck valuations.
Did supply chains get shorter during COVID?
Nearshoring, re-shoring, and friend shoring are supposed to make supply chains more resilient by eliminating the risk of disruptions and higher costs that come with moving freight long distances. A move toward could become increasingly important in strategically sensitive industries
But placing production closer to consumers is complicated. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that trade now crosses longer distances today than it did before the Covid pandemic, according to The State of Globalization in 2022, published in the Harvard Business Review.
It’s going to be a cluster
Retailers are sitting on a pile of inventory at the same time consumers are starting to pull back on spending. “We’re hearing significant amount of BCOs [beneficial cargo owners] cutting back orders. With highly publicized shortcomings with major retailers like Walmart, Target, Ross Stores, etc., it sends a chill into the retail forecasts for volume expectations,” Kurt McElroy, executive vice president of forwarder Kerry Apex, told JOC.com.
The sharp inventory buildup since late last year is leading to more idle ships, containers, and chassis. Supply chains are choked at both port and inland rail locations just as the traditional peak import season is set to begin. Summer “is going to be a cluster,” one carrier executive told JOC.com.
Sysco shortens its driver workweek
Truck fleets are pulling out all the stops to retain drivers. At Sysco, one of the country’s largest wholesale food distributors and the nation’s second-largest private fleet, this includes a shorter workweek.
Drivers will work four days a week and Sysco will deliver to customers six days a week instead of five, said CEO Kevin Hourican. The workweek adjustment gives drivers an extra day off and allows those working overtime to come in for a fifth day instead of a sixth day.
Meanwhile, the six-days-a-week delivery model increases asset utilization. “It increases our weekly throughput and also provides us more flex capacity on each and every day, enabling us to better handle fluctuations of demand,” Hourican said.