Safe, Safer, Safest – Innovations in Truck Safety


In the last few years, the trucking industry has undergone some serious changes: From the emergence of electric trucks (see Mercedes, Tesla) to the digitalization of the back office and truck cabin. But what about innovations when it comes to safety?

In the US, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported a staggering number of 4,209 bridge strikes in 2014. In the UK, there were 1708 bridge strikes in 2013/2014. According to Network Rail, this is a 9.9% increase compared to the previous year. When it comes to road accidents involving trucks, the numbers aren’t much better. A 2013 study in the UK reported that,

“More than half of fatal accidents on motorways involve HGVs, despite HGVs only making up 10% of the traffic on motorways” (Source)

The FMCSA’s (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) statistic shows that,

“There were 11.2 fatal large truck crashes per million people in the United States in 2015, a 6-percent increase from 2010” (Source)

Needless to say, truck safety is a vital issue for truckers, fleets and road users in general. So, what are some of the innovations that can help improve road safety?

I Spy With My Little Eye

One of the biggest safety concerns for truck drivers are blind spots. The most obvious help for a driver’s visibility are the good old mirrors. For increased safety, truck owners should install the full set of mirrors including front projection mirror, side close proximity mirror, wide angle rear view mirror and of course the plain rear view mirror. Additionally, you can use blind spot detection systems. Ultrasonic sensors can detect obstacles in the rear, front corner or side of the vehicle and warn with an alarm. Plus, there are side view and 360 degree cameras that provide the driver with visibility when reversing or performing a difficult turn. Some manufacturers have gone a step further and trialled a rear screen that helps car drivers overtake trucks. Samsung has shown how technology can help all road users:

Driver Controls

What are some of the safety systems the big truck manufacturers have been integrating into their vehicles? Thanks to advanced camera, GPS, radar and sensor technology, truckers and fleet managers can take advantage of a variety of systems to help the driver and haulage arrive safely.

Cruise control anticipates the road and vehicle traffic ahead; Lane departure warnings alert the driver if there is an unintended lane change; Vehicle stability systems help keep the truck in balance in case of a sharp turn; Advanced braking warns the driver if there is an obstacle ahead and will brake if the limit is exceeded.

Do You Know Where You’re Going?

We’ve come a long way since paper maps. Since the emergence of PCs in the 90s and mobile devices on the 00s, fleet management and trucking has changed significantly. The humble paper map has been replaced by mobile devices that not only show you a map but give the driver instructions, warnings and optimized routes.

Mobile truck-specific navigation apps have been available for many years now, but some drivers still use GPS navigation that is not suitable for larger vehicles. The danger? Directions from a car GPS will route heavy-duty drivers down narrow roads or bridges that are truck-restricted. The best case is a hefty fine, the worst case an accident with vehicle damage or even injury. So make sure your drivers/you are using navigation and routing suitable for commercial vehicles.

Drive safely 🙂

Resources
http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/media/21-10-2013-lorry-fatalities-research
https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/deliveries-in-london/delivering-safely/safer-trucks
http://content.tfl.gov.uk/understanding-direct-and-direct-vision-from-hgvs-summary.pdf
http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/media/21-10-2013-lorry-fatalities-research
http://www.orsa.org.uk/facts-and-figures/crash-and-casualty-data/
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/556396/rrcgb2015-01.pdf

ALK Map Data: Built for Commercial Vehicles

Commercial map data is the core of our business. At ALK, we have a team of GIS and mapping specialists that dedicate every hour of every day to ensure our premium-quality, street-level map of the North American road network is the most comprehensive and accurate source for our customers. These maps form the basis of our commercial brands in North America and are relied on by millions of drivers and more than 22,000 motor carriers, private fleets and third party logistics companies every day.

Our portfolio of transportation solutions offer the most comprehensive set of commercial truck restrictions in North America. It’s what defines us as the trusted industry standard for safe, accurate and reliable routing, mileage, mapping and navigation.

Check out what our robust set of commercial map data includes:

2017 Standard Chartered Great City Race – London

 

Last night, our British colleagues Matt Conby and Will Colborn entered the 2017 Standard Chartered Great City Race​ along with a few fellow colleagues from Trimble Real Estate and Workspace Solutions (RE&WS).

Congratulations to both of them for getting involved in this charitable event, as the run was a way of raising funding and awareness for the Seeing is Believing charity.

A total of over 5000 runners took part in the 5km race, snaking through London’s financial district, also known as the Square Mile – around sites including St Paul’s and the Bank of England.

 

Official Times:

Will: 24m 38s

Matt: 24m 56s

 

This was the first time Will entered a 5km race, but it sounds as though he has caught the bug and wants to sign up to more of the same. Matt, however, had already participated in this particular race, and yesterday he completed it 2m 25s quicker than last year!

Goodbye Roaming Charges, Hello Europe!

Good news for all Europeans: From mid June onwards, roaming charges for certain mobile plans in the European Union have been dropped. That means there’s a good chance you can now travel across Europe and use your data without worrying about extra charges. Say goodbye to surprise bills from your mobile provider at the end of the month when completing a delivery through several countries.

And the best part for CoPilot Professional and CoPilot Truck users?

  1. You will now be able to use ActiveTraffic when driving abroad without paying a hefty bill at the end of the month if you have a good mobile plan.
  2. You can still take advantage of CoPilot’s offline capability if you’re driving in areas with low data coverage. Say goodbye to interrupted service when crossing borders.
  3. If you have a monthly cap on your data usage, you can still use CoPilot’s offline maps to minimise data usage. Especially if you’re a fleet manager, this will keep costs down across the board.

So check in with your mobile provider and see how your data plan abroad has changed regarding your international shifts!

PS: If you are in the US or other places around the world, roaming charges will likely still apply. So make sure to turn off your data roaming if you want to avoid hefty bills.

Join Us at the Transport & Logistic Trade Show – Munich, Germany

The Transport & Logistic show will kick off in two weeks in Munich, Germany. It is the world’s leading trade fair for logistics, mobility, IT, and supply chain management.

Are you ready? We are!

Our German team and German-speaking London-based colleagues will be at the event from May 9-12 to tell you more about ALK. Pop in to our booth in Hall 2, Stand 233 for a live demo of our CoPilot Truck, Advanced Route Optimization, and ALK Maps solutions, and to learn more about how to integrate ALK to your own applications.

Don’t forget to get your visitor pass for the trade show and come meet us to learn more about ALK Maps and CoPilot Truck:

http://www.transportlogistic.de/trade-fair/visitors/purchase-ticket/index.html

 

In the meantime, find out more about CoPilot Truck and ALK Maps here.

ALK Road Closure Alert – I-85 Atlanta, GA

Please be advised I-85 in Atlanta, GA near Piedmont Road has been closed due to a collapse.  If this road closure affects your business or travels:

 

  • ALK Maps, PC*MILER Web Services & PC*MILER|Web customers – We have updated the map data for these products to avoid the road closure.
  • PC*MILER Install customers –  We suggest you use PC*MILER’s Custom Roads Manager feature to avoid the road closure.  For information on how to use the feature, please reference Chapter 12 of the PC*MILER User Guide.

 

If you have additional issues or questions, please contact ALK Support at pcmsupport@alk.com.

 

We will inform you when the road is reopened.

We’re Headed Out to Some of the Transportation Industry’s Biggest Tradeshows!

We’ve got a full schedule this September and October – we’ll be exhibiting at the McLeod Software User Conference, in.sight User Conference and Expo, and the ATA Management Conference.

Stop by our booths and get a demo all of the latest features and functionality of PC*MILER, including the new PC*MILER|WEATHER module, CoPilot Truck, and ALK Maps by one of our product experts.

We’ll also have dedicated product overview sessions at the McLeod Software User Conference and in.sight User Conference and Expo. Check out the program guides for dates and times.

Hope to see you soon!

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2016 National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

 

ntdawSeptember 11-17, 2016

 

On a small scale, the 3.4 million truck drivers of America impact your life on a daily basis. From the delivery of the very food on your plate, the medications in your pharmacies, and the gasoline in your car, virtually all of the items we need would not be readily available without our truckers. On a larger scale, they are the backbone to every national crisis, delivering donations and supplies during national disaster like the recent flood that devastated Louisiana.  Keeping in mind, a day in the life of a trucker is not an easy one. Most truck drivers work 14 hour days with only 90 minutes of personal time and are constantly up against the clock. Time management is one of the most difficult aspects of the trucking industry and that responsibility falls directly on the driver. On average, drivers lose two hours of driving time a day battling parking issues, fatigue and planning uncertainty. Yet they continue on, guaranteeing the delivery of goods that keeps the United States running. We have great dependence on the trucking system working smoothly and our appreciation of those who get that job done should be equally as large.

 

Thankfully, we have an entire week to show our appreciation for the truck drivers of America. From September 11 – 17, 2016, join ALK in acknowledging the men and women who brave harsh weather and sacrifice time away from their loved ones to guarantee the delivery of goods and keep our highways safe.

 

Here at ALK, we would like to #ThankADriver – Not just for the work you’ve done, but for everything you have done and will continue to do.

 

ALK Technologies Celebrates a Milestone with the 30th Release of PC*MILER

Provides innovative weather visualization tool for improved route planning efficiency and enhanced fleet safety

Princeton, N.J. – June 28, 2016 – ALK Technologies, a Trimble Company and global leader in GeoLogistics® solutions and navigation software, today announced that the 30th version of its PC*MILER truck routing, mileage and mapping software is now available. PC*MILER 30 brings a number of pre-trip planning enhancements, including a unique weather visualization tool to enable transportation companies to understand the weather’s direct impact on their business.

“Our goal is to continue to develop technology that empowers our customers to make confident, informed decisions to boost their bottom line and help ensure fleet safety while on the road,” said Kara Jo O’Neil, senior product manager at ALK Technologies. “With access to critical insight into weather conditions during route planning, dispatchers can make knowledgeable decisions to steer drivers on safer routes, if necessary, as well as understand the possible delays due to severe weather conditions.”

In PC*MILER 30, dispatchers can toggle the display of weather radar and alerts as well as visual cloud layer. Current weather-related events are clearly identified on the map and alerts are optionally provided if the generated route plan intersects with an alert zone. Dispatchers can then analyze the alert type, effective and expiration times, certainty, severity and urgency ratings in order to make critical decisions about routing drivers around hazardous areas or notifying customers of potential delays.

PC*MILER 30 also brings the ability to:

  • Set a maximum governor road speed for more accurate ETAs and drive times
  • Factor in new government mandated 60/70-hour-duty limits for Hours of Service (HOS) compliance and to maintain low CSA scores
  • Insert an HOS compliant stop or break location directly into the route with predefined, custom places for quick pre-planning
  • Access the latest street-level maps of North America with updated addresses, roadways, and commercial restrictions
  • Send an optimized stop list from PC*MILER Interactive directly to a driver through ALK’s standalone CoPilot Truck in-cab navigation app, helping to ensure legally compliant executed truck routes that eliminate manual address entry and maximize driver miles per day

“We’re proud that a product created 30 years ago continues to evolve with the industry’s needs while still maintaining its original intention of providing transportation companies a trusted source for reliable and accurate truck routing, mileage and mapping, “said Michael Kornhauser, executive vice president and general manager at ALK Technologies. “PC*MILER’s longevity is a true testament to the importance of building software with a strong foundation and a focus on innovation driven by the voice of our customers.”

PC*MILER runs on Microsoft Windows, UNIX and Linux platforms as well as IBM AS/400 (iSeries) and mainframe computers. PC*MILER is also available as a web-based application for access anywhere, anytime. It can also be seamlessly integrated with leading transportation and supply chain management systems.

For more information on PC*MILER visit: www.pcmiler.com.

For PC*MILER 30 images: Click Here

About ALK Technologies

ALK Technologies, a Trimble Company and global leader in GeoLogistics solution and navigation software, is focused on developing innovative solutions for transportation, logistics, mobile workforces and consumers. Product lines include PC*MILER, CoPilot and ALK Maps. PC*MILER is widely recognized as a transportation industry standard for routing, mileage and mapping in North America. CoPilot is a leading source of GPS navigation software for fleets, mobile operators, hardware OEMs, system integrators, professional drivers and consumers. ALK Maps is a development platform designed for the transportation industry and provides commercial routing, geocoding and mapping visualization for enterprise applications.

For more information on ALK Technologies, visit: www.alk.com or follow us at: www.twitter.com/ALKTech.