New App – Periscope

Over the weekend I asked my niece Stacie to record a song and post it to Facebook because I wanted to show her off.  She agreed.  I kept checking Facebook to see if she had placed the video out there and she hadn’t, instead she texted me to tell me to watch her live on this app called Periscope.  She sent me her username and I searched for her.  Unfortunately, where she was singing, a church, did not have a good connection so I was unable to hear her beautiful voice.

Immediately after the service was over, she sent me a text to say that she was going to be LIVE, in her car!  I hurried and pulled her feed up and watched and listened as she serenaded me and others that joined the feed.  I am a big fan of my niece, Stacie.  I love to hear her sing.  Her voice brings me joy and I find myself tearing up.  I am going to try to place the link to her recording on Periscope so that you all can hear what I am talking about.

UPDATE – I tried to retrieve the video, but unfortunately, it is no longer available.

I am not sure if I am going to keep this app. I’m not to keen on watching someone live to just do weird stuff. I mean, all I have to do is watch the folks around here and I can laugh all I want. I guess for some, it’s okay, but for me, what am I doing that I have to broadcast it , LIVE?

The Disappearance of a Black Neighborhood in Central Virginia

Brown Grove is an area in the town of Ashland, Virginia that is mainly a black community.  Lately, more white families have been moving in. Many of the residents are related in some way, by marriage or blood.  Over the years, families have grown and some of the younger generation has moved away, leaving the older people and the ones that refuse to leave.  Recently, the county of Hanover approved a plan to bring stores and shops to the area, in the Brown Grove community. It started with building a school bus garage, then other businesses like Champion Windows, an RV dealer and recently, Harley Davidson built a new facility in that area.  Bass Pro Shops moved in across Lewistown Road, along with Bojangles, Wendy’s, Dunkin Donuts, Subway, and several other stores.

I remember traveling that stretch of road between Route 1 and Ashcake road, and looking at the numerous houses  along the way. Children playing outside, riding bikes, having family cookouts during the summer or snowball fights during the winter. At any time you can see someone walking the road,  heading across the bridge to work at the TA truck stop (aka Speed & Brisco), or going to the Shell station for beer and cigarettes.  Sometimes just to get to someone’s house. For the most part, this has been a quiet area.  Except for the occasional uproar, there was no trouble here.  We lived on a dirt road that sometimes the kids would all get together and have go-cart races from one end to the other.  When we had cookouts on that road, there would be cars parked from the house that was having it to the end.  We moved out the community because of the Air Park extension of the runway for the planes.  But, our hearts will always be in that neighborhood.

I know that things have to change in order for the community to grow, but it seems that everything I remember about the neighborhood is disappearing. They are also talking about hotels that are going up, how many is anyone’s guess.  It seems that the black neighborhoods are disappearing all over the U.S.  If there is what they consider to be prime real estate that would be great for a Walmart, Lowes, Target or some other big store, they will do what they can to take it, purchase it and run the occupants out.  Yeah, I’m feeling a little upset about it!  All of this reminds me of the phrase, “You can never go home again.” In some cases, that is very true!

C.R. England says goal in driver training exemption to get qualified truck operators working sooner

|June 19, 2015

C.R.-EnglandMajor refrigerated carrier C.R. England, one of the largest fleets in the U.S., was granted last week an exemption to one portion of federal rules dictating driver training. But, says C.R. England chief counsel TJ England, the exemption was not sought as an attempt to evade driver training regulations, as perceived by some, but is instead meant to help new entrant drivers start work quicker by avoiding unnecessary red tape.

“A lot of confusion exists with our exemption request,” he said this week. “People think this is an attempt to try to escape some sort of training or safety requirement or diminish training or safety — and that’s not the case at all.”

The only new entrant drivers that fall under the exemption, England says, are those who have completed all necessary skills tests and written tests and who have a commercial learner’s permit, but simply haven’t been to their home state “to stand in a line at the DMV,” England said, to receive their CDL.

“They’ve met all the same requirements” as an actual CDL holder, he said. “There are no more requirements and no more testing. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have asked for [the exemption].”

The waiver granted to C.R. England this week by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration allows new drivers, who have documentation that they’ve passed written and skills tests, to operate a commercial truck without a CDL-licensed driver-trainer in the front seat, as required by federal regulations.

The driver-trainer would still be in the vehicle, according to C.R. England’s exemption application and FMCSA’s waiver, but he or she could be in the sleeper. C.R. England said in its original application for the exemption in December, and TJ England told Overdrive this week, that the exemption will allow the fully trained, learner’s permit-holding drivers to work in a team operation until they can be routed to their home state to obtain their CDL.England said upcoming changes to CDL issuance rules, set to go into effect July 8, make it more difficult for drivers to get to their CDL-issuing state — their home state — to receive their actual CDL card. England likened the changes to a student who goes to school outside of his or her home state, but must return home to obtain a diploma before being able to work a job.

England said while FMCSA’s intentions with the rule changes are good — reducing CDL fraud — one key “unintended consequence” limits states’ ability to grant temporary CDLs, which would allow new entrant drivers to drive and carriers to route them to their home state to receive their permanent CDL before the temporary would expire.

“We didn’t like [how the new rules] unfairly impeded out of state drivers and made it more difficult for them to get a CDL and get to work,” he said. “What we wanted was to level the playing field between in state and out of state driver applicants, so when they were qualified and had met all the standards, they were then able to drive.”


Major carrier allowed to skip certain driver training regs

Under the terms of the exemption, a learner’s permit holder who has passed a CDL skills test may drive a truck and trailer for C.R. …

At least 30 hours behind the wheel: Pre-CDL driver-training rulemaking committee issues ‘consensus’ recommendation

Two dissenting votes on the committee — from NASTC and ATA — open the door for FMCSA to not pursue an training rulemaking, but signs …

Freightliner unveils first U.S.-legal autonomous truck

EQUIPMENTOverdrive Staff|May 05, 2015

Freightliner Trucks unveiled May 5 in Las Vegas the first road-legal self-driving truck for the North American market.


Freightliner this week unveiled a futuristic concept vehicle, the SuperTruck, which it says has been in the works for half a decade. Here’s a look …The truck, dubbed the Freightliner Inspiration, can legally operate in the state of Nevada, and it’s commercially viable, Freightliner says.  It’s not available for purchase yet, and details are still scarce.   Freightliner will reveal more Wednesday, May 6.  The Inspiriation, however, will no longer be relegated to just test tracks and closed roads.   It will be running in public traffic throughout the state of Nevada while engineers refine its operation.  Stay tuned to Overdrive for more details as Daimler Trucks North America, Freightliner’s parent company, unveils more today.


Photos: Freightliner unveils futuristic SuperTruck concept

Too Busy to Post

It has been a while since my last post. It’s not because I am no longer interested,  it’s because I have been so busy.  Between the job and my new hobby, I haven’t had the chance to put anything out.

I promise to start back up again.  The trucking industry is getting outrageous with some new rules and regulations and even introducing an unmanned truck to this country! Imagine that!  More later on that.  Have a great day, everybody! 🙂

GAO rep: FMCSA’s app the latest misstep in pushing ‘unreliable’ CSA scores


|March 19, 2015

csa basic alertsFollowing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s release this week of its CSA-based QCMobile app, a representative from the Government Accountability Office reiterated her agency’s stance that carrier rankings in CSA are unreliable and should not be publicly displayed.


Industry concerns aside, FMCSA releases smartphone app to allow easier access to CSA scores

Despite the trucking industry’s concerns over the quality, quantity and consistency of the data used to form CSA rankings, FMCSA unveiled a smartphone app designed …

FMCSA’s app release is the agency’s latest push to invite third-party use of rankings in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, coming despite concerns by carriers, brokers, inspectors and the GAO about the scores’ ability to accurately depict carrier safety or future crash risk.


Congress’ latest alert over CSA scores

New House bill 1371 would pull carrier CSA scores from public view, require FMCSA to revamp program.

Susan Fleming, director of the GAO’s physical infrastructure department, was interviewed about the matter briefly Wednesday by Mark Willis on his SiriusXM Road Dog Trucking News program.The GAO, she said, favors removal of the scores from public view, citing its own study on the program in which it concluded the rankings are flawed due to inconsistent and variable data from states, lack of data on smaller carriers and lack of correlation between several CSA BASICs and crash occurrence.


CSA scoring is faulty, unfair for small carriers, GAO report says

The scoring system used by FMCSA in its Compliance, Safety, Accountability system is flawed and is made up of an incomplete data set, particularly for …

Overdrive’s Todd Dills in recent years also reported in-depth on these issues, finding the program discriminates against smaller carriers and CSA ratings often times do not have a positive relationship to accident rates.Fleming told Willis in the March 18 interview that FMCSA’s continued push of CSA scores is giving her agency “a little bit of heartburn.”

The app “is another way of publicly displaying information we don’t consider to be reliable,” Fleming told Willis.

Where do you stand on the issue of whether carrier CSA scores be public property? If you’re using a mobile device, tap the image to call and weigh in with a voice message we may use in a future "mailbag" podcast. If you’re on a desktop, call 530-408-6423. Be sure to include your name and base location in the message.

Furthermore, the app’s stripped down view of CSA’s Safety Measurement System BASIC rankings could create even more confusion for third parties such as brokers, insurers or shippers looking to use CSA scores to make determinations about carriers.

“Taking a look at what the app doesn’t provide — It doesn’t provide frequency of violation and doesn’t even really explain what the scores mean,” she says. “[FMCSA doesn’t] plan to implement our recommendation, but we’re not wavering from our work,” she said.

Here’s a 4-minute clip of Fleming’s talk with Mark Willis, recorded and uploaded by ATA: