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John Downing

Recent Posts

All It Takes Is 30 Minutes: Smart Pre-Trip Inspections

The CVSA’s three-day International Roadcheck may be over, but the inspections will continue every single day, without fail. Every truck driver has been trained on how to do a pre-trip truck inspection. But, do they actually take the time to go through this process every time they hit the road? Maybe. Maybe not.

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Topics: Truck Safety, CVSA International Roadcheck

CVSA’s International Roadcheck 2019: Are You Ready?

From June 4-6, the CVSA’s International Roadcheck program will inspect 17 commercial vehicles every minute over the course of 72 hours across North America. During International Roadcheck, certified inspectors will conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. Inspectors may also opt to conduct the Level II Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection, Level III Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection or Level V Vehicle-Only Inspection. Are you, your drivers, and your trucks prepared?

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Topics: Truck Safety, CVSA International Roadcheck

Keeping Up With New Fleet Technology

After coming back from the Mid-America Trucking Show, we’ve got new fleet technologies hot on our minds. After being in business for as long as we have and working with as many fleets as we do, we know all about the tight deadlines -- and, tight margins -- the industry has to deal with. Driver turnover, retention hardships, and recruiting challenges also impact the bottom line. This means fleets must get creative in how they manage budgets while also making sound investments on the latest technologies designed to make their operations more efficient.

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Topics: Trucking Technology

Female Drivers Could Make The Roads Safer

A recent ATRI analysis that examined 12 behaviors, including prior collisions, traffic law violations, and convictions, found that women are safer truck drivers than men. In fact, this study found that male truck drivers are 20 percent more likely to get into a crash than their female counterparts.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that truck driver deaths reached a 29-year high in 2017 with 840 fatalities. That was a 6.6 percent increase over the 786 who died in 2016. The conclusion? Recruiting female truck drivers could help reduce the record number of truckers dying in crashes.

“We always knew that women were safer drivers,” said Ellen Voie, chief executive and founder of the nonprofit Women in Trucking Association. “We just didn’t have proof.”

The ATRI’s Crash Predictor model was built from examining 435,000 individual driver records over two years. According to this model, reckless driving and failure to yield the right of way were the top indicators of a driver’s likelihood of getting into a crash. When comparing female and male drivers, male truckers were found to be more reckless, more likely to be convicted of running a traffic signal, and less likely to wear seat belts.

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Topics: Women In Trucking

A Look At Truck Fuel Efficiency In Commercial Trucks

*Image courtesy of Navistar

We’re all about continuous improvement here at Thunder Funding and we encourage all the fleets and owner operators we work with to assess what’s working -- and, what could be improved -- in their operations. With talks about the potential impacts of tariffs on Chinese imports, lower oil prices and a global economic slowdown threatening order cancellations, the industry has every reason to be more mindful of how we can be proactive should we get hit by a sector recession in the coming years.

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Topics: Fuel Efficiency

Electric Trucks Are Here To Stay


*Image courtesy of The Verge

It’s not just talk anymore. Electric trucks are here to stay. And, they require certain infrastructure to be established to ensure uninterrupted usage. Thor is demonstrating heavy- and medium-duty trucks while Tesla’s Semi tractors are scheduled to hit the roads this year. Large companies like Walmart and UPS are lining up to place orders and even online retailer Amazon has invested in electric pickup truck maker Rivian.

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Topics: Electric Vehicles

Top 10 Worst Traffic Bottlenecks in the U.S.

*Image: Tom Moreland Interchange

U.S. congestion costs trucking $74.5 billion annually.
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Topics: Costs Of Trucking

Trends In Trucking: How Drivers and Fleets Differ On Top Issues

Do truck drivers and carriers see eye to eye on critical issues facing the industry? The results from the ATRI’s 2018 “Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry” survey provides a breakdown between driver and fleet opinions.

Of the 1,539 respondents to the 2018 survey, motor carriers represented 47.5% while commercial drivers (both company and independent) made up 41.3% of the responses. The balance of the numbers came from other industry stakeholders, which means the ATRI got a healthy response from both fleets and drivers.

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Topics: Trucking Trends

3 Truck Technologies You Need Right Now

Image Courtesy of Wired.com

Ask anyone who’s been to a truck conference and they’ll confirm there’s an endless sea of technologies fleets could place in their trucks if they were so inclined. But, let us first acknowledge that adding anything into a truck isn’t a simple decision. Trucks are expensive assets and some fleets have a lot of them. Equipping trucks with a new technology across their entire fleet can take years, and often requires professional installation and ongoing maintenance. We’re looking at a lot of time and money here, Folks.

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Topics: Trucking Technology

Simplifying Your Hiring Processes

The wrong hiring decision wastes time, costs money, and can have a potentially negative impact on your existing employees. But, given the current state of driver and technician shortages, some fleets are feeling the heat to find any decent body to fill a vacancy. So, what are some things you can do right now to make sure you make the right hire?

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Topics: Driver Recruitment Best Practices