As part of our Great Western Transportation philosophy and best-practices we keep a close eye on all the trends in the big rig trucking industry. One of the major trends is moving big rig trucks to zero emission, to being climate friendly deliverers of millions of tons of vital goods across the U.S. These trucks range from battery powered to hydrogen-fuel-cell powered. There will be a time in the future where most trucks on the road will be zero emission.
This past March, 2023, in Stockton, CA, the truck manufacturer and energy company Nikola Motor presented its new one-hundred percent zero emission semi-trucks to truck fleet company representatives. The sleek, futuristic black-and-white class-8 trucks wowed the audience of truck buyers. One of the trucks was powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that could haul for 500 miles. The other was battery powered with nine battery packs punching through 733 kilowatt hours of electricity for a range of 330 miles. Both trucks had the same electric motor.
Damon Owens, head of truck marketing at Nikola Motors, said, “Our battery electric truck as I mentioned is in production and ready for delivery now. Our fuel cell truck will be available for delivery at a later part of this year … it goes into production in the later part of this year.”
The trucks also have regenerative braking to recycle electric power back to the battery as the truck brakes.
Show attendee Dave Dein, co-founder of Next Generation in Trucking Association, said after driving the truck: “It’s very comfortable, it’s very quiet … love it. It’s really designed for the driver. Excellent turning radius and visibility.”
April 12, 2023 | | Category: General
Great Western Transportation strives each day to provide the best possible personal service for all companies needing heavy haul, flatbed, power only or refrigerated hauling. Unlike many companies in 2023 we are personally with the client every step of the journey. So a person, rather than some computer driven AI app, is handling your freighting needs. Yet, we also deploy new-edge technology for driver communication, tracking and other performance vectors so that it’s as if our GWTrans manager of your job is right there with the driver. Then, we’re able to communicate all this info to you as the hauling job progresses.
A few posts ago, we discussed how women have been involved in trucking as drivers since trucking’s beginnings in the early 1900’s, and how in 2023 women are an enormous force in trucking from driving to management.
Our armed services vets are a prominent force in trucking, a benefit for both trucking and for the vets coming out of the military. The Truckx blog quotes a combat veteran of four tours as saying: “Trucking lets me run on my own time, on my own schedule,” he said. “Everything the way I want it, the way I say it.” Vets coming out of service often find it difficult to find a job – even in a hot job market like we have now. But trucking has and is providing jobs across a wide range of expertise, including truckers with their own company, skilled drivers to big rig mechanics and dispatch communications experts, and managers.
In the US there are now 18 million veterans and the trucking/transportation industry employs one out of every four, and one out of every ten is a trucker.
By 2030 the American Trucking Association says the US will be needing to expand by 160,000 drivers. In 2022 the industry was short of drivers by 78,000.
We’re proud to have vets among the drivers who take our clients loads everyday across the highways and roads of the nation.
March 24, 2023 | | Category: General
At Great Western Transportation we keep a close eye on the stats of the trucking industry serving the continental U.S. states. We also keep on eye on the data of the past few years so we’re aware of trends that effect big rig trucking, and give us the knowledge to offer you—our customers—the best hauling services possible. Whether you need a load of frozen crab and other fish to a vendor in Boston or an oversized load taken from Texas to Chicago, or a dry van of goods going cross country we’re here to make it happen safely, smoothly and on budget and on time.
Just two years ago there were 8 million people employed in the overarching trucking industry. That is an enormous swath of people working 24/7 to get goods and heavy items hauled from businesses to customers. It is, ultimately, a very very large part of the economic gears that drive the American economy.
We are still experiencing super-strong storms from California (with unexpected snowfall in lower elevations, catastrophic flooding) across the plains states to the East Coast just slammed by its first nor’easter. Trucking is impacted by extreme weather, and it can be dangerous to drivers and costly to businesses. Yet, we all strive to get the hauling done through the bad weather, and here at Great Western we really stay on top of our drivers and loads hitting bad storms, and in close communication with our customers as to how everything is going.
Seventy percent (70%) of all freight in the U.S. is hauled by trucks, making it the single largest carrier of goods, materials like gas, and equipment. If trucking stops, then a huge part of the American economy is severely braked. As of 2021 trucking generated a gross revenue in the U.S. of $875.5 billion.
These are mind-boggling numbers as you contemplate how much freight is moving down U.S. roads every minute and how that translates into dollars that flow into every sector of the economy.
As the old adage (from a 1936 blues song) says, “Keep on truckin’.”
March 12, 2023 | | Category: General
We’re continuing our blog series on what’s on the mind of truckers in 2023. This includes trucking drivers and truckers as in trucking companies, of which Great Western Transportation is a proud, long-standing and hard-working member of the family. In our last blog we discussed pay for drivers in 2023 and new technology becoming more prominent in or being introduced in 2023 to help drivers and trucking operators be safer and more efficient/productive.
One of the great concerns of truckers (both independent trucker drivers who own their own truck(s) and trucking outfits) is insurance and the inflation of insurance as part of the general inflationary pressures in the industry. Insurance has gone up, and for certain freight conditions are very high. The Trucking Research organization came out with a report that insurance premium costs per mile have increased by 47% from 2010 to 2020, and is now increasing further going into 2023. Part of the unfortunate offset for this increased expense for very large outfits is reducing the pay or reducing bonuses for one third of truckers—a worrisome figure. The insurance costs also forced big operators to choose between insurance and technology advancements.
An interesting fact in trucking is that the majority of the drivers are aged between 45 and 54. This majority of 45-54 year-olds is on the road more than 60 hours a week, often driving up to 14 hours before the next break. For 2023, this is catalyzing more interest in schedules for drivers and their time off periods. This not only affects the drivers, but the drivers’ families. Sometimes these drivers burn out and leave the trucking industry or retire early, and these conditions contribute to the driver shortage we’re experiencing in our industry. Part of the operations management (including here at Great Western) is looking carefully at scheduling and mandated rest hours and time off.
February 24, 2023 | | Category: General
At the heart of our heavy hauling, flatbed and refrigerated trucking business are the truckers, the men and women (whom our last blog lauded) who drive the rigs that move thousands of tons of goods across America every day. Here at Great Western Transportation we’re proud to be part of this great, extended family. We’re here everyday to immediately, personally and smartly respond to any company’s hauling needs from coast to coast.
Some prognosticators looking at their crystal balls in the big rig cabs are discussing what truckers are looking for in 2023.
As with all of us in the trucking industry in these times of inflation, truckers are looking for better pay — for the long hours they work. On average truckers work 60-70 hours a week (away from their families) usually with no overtime pay, and they earn on average about $28 an hour. There is now a driver shortage and the drivers themselves and trucking companies are looking at higher earnings for truckers that will help solve the driver shortage (as new drivers are attracted to the industry with better pay) and improve the quality of life for truckers.
Technology advances in 2023 are a powerful factor in trucking, and even AI (artificial intelligence) is contributing to the movement. Much of the drive in technology is not only making trucking easier and smoother, but more productive and thus more profitable. Among the technological systems and gadgets that are becoming more prominent in 2023 are the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud dashcams, asset tracking and telematics. Effective route planning is among the targeted goals in 2023, using asset trackers.
To be continued in our next blog post.
February 12, 2023 | | Category: Flatbed
, Refrigerated Trucking
As our last blog discussed, women have been driving big trucks as amateurs (whatever needs being done on farms or ranches) and professionally (paid to drive hauling trucks) since the very early 1900’s. Some of them achieved a fame and notoriety akin to Calamity Jane, and were hired even as test drivers for large truck manufacturing companies.
Here at Great Western Transportation, our trucking jobs use women drivers routinely from coast to coast and driving all kinds of rigs—including the really big boy oversize loads.
From our research, here are some of the benefits of having women driving your loads from where you want them picked up to where you want them dropped off, through historic snow storms to Death Valley desert heat and everything between.
- Omnitracs did a study in turnover in trucking and women exhibit lower turnover in both driving and management. They stay with companies longer than men, which means you’re saving money as it takes considerable budgets to onboard and train new talent.
- Women actually get more experience on the road then men, as measured in the critical yardstick of miles driven. They drive more miles per time period than men on average, which means you get your goods delivered faster.
- Women are the safest drivers, according the American Transport Research Institute. Compared to men, women are 71% less likely to have a reckless incident or negligent incident, 56% less likely to have a seat belt violation, and 58% and 59% less likely to run a red light or be convicted of speeding 1- 15 miles over a posted speed limit.
January 25, 2023 | | Category: General
Big rig driving is a profession that women are entering at a record-setting pace, and we here at Great Western Transportation are pleased and proud to have among our drivers across the country many women. Read more ›
January 12, 2023 | | Category: General
While our headquarters is in northern California in the Bay Area, we are closely networked into trucking outfits and businesses needing freight hauling all across the country – from Los Angeles to Kansas City up to Boston and down to Miami. Every city and town in the continental U.S. is covered by our networking, and so we are in a kind of hub center for the weather patterns of the U.S. Our area was hit before Christmas by a huge very wet, windy (like a good blowing gail) storm that stretched up the west coast and dropped feet of snow in the Sierras and moved on eastward.
Now a historically massive winter storm hit the Midwest and east coast over the Christmas weekend with super cold temperatures going down as far as Texas, heavy snows and high winds and off the great Lakes houses were entirely covered in otherworldly skins of thick, wind-blown snow ice.
Nearly 80 lives have been lost in this great storm, and cities like Buffalo, NY, are still digging out of the record-setting blizzard.
Flatbed trucking, heavy hauling and refrigerated loads virtually ground to a halt in many Midwest and east coast areas for a few days, and fortunately no truckers were hurt or lost in this deadly storm that spread across dozens of states. Trucking drivers and equipment were tested in the severe cold, snow and wind conditions as they got caught in situations they couldn’t avoid. And those that could rode it out in shelter.
We remained open and helping shippers getting their loads going as much as possible during the storm. And now there’s a lot of catch up to do.
For all the truckers out there and the companies that need their talented services, we wish you Happy Holidays and Happy New Year for 2023 and may it be a year of good fortune for all in the trucking industry.