Capitol Hill Dems Float Bill to Force Sleep-Apnea Rule

29 Sep by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Capitol Hill Dems Float Bill to Force Sleep-Apnea Rule

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Image: Volvo Group

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Image: Volvo Group

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Six weeks after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration pulled their advance notice of proposed rulemaking on obstructive sleep apnea, Democrats in both the House and Senate are pushing back.

The legislation they're sponsoring would force the Department of Transportation to mandate sleep-apnea testing and treatment for both truck drivers and railroad engineers.

The lawmakers' move also came just a week after the National Transportation Safety Board said that engineers involved in two deadly commuter-train crashes near New York City were diagnosed with sleep apnea.

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the bill in the Senate, where it is cosponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). A companion bill was introduced in the House by Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Albio Sires (D-NJ).

“Whether on the roads or the rails, the safety of the traveling public must be our highest transportation priority,” said Sen. Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate's mass transit subcommittee. “I'm disappointed that the administration chose to put the traveling public at risk by ignoring the threat sleep apnea poses. This legislation would address that failure and implement this commonsense public safety policy to protect riders, save lives, and make our rails and roadways safer.”

Sen. Booker, Ranking Member of the Senate subcommittee on rail infrastructure called the administration's pulling of the sleep apnea pre-rule “shortsighted and reckless.”

According to Senate Minority Leader Schumer, a federal law “would force all rail lines— in New York, New Jersey and across the country— to conduct these [apnea] tests in perpetuity and with clear federal guidelines. Across-the-board sleep apnea testing must be law of the land for train operators and commercial drivers to help ensure us that the tragedies that happened in Brooklyn and in Hoboken will be prevented ...Read the rest of this story

29 Sep by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Alignment and Balancing: Hassle, or Worth the Hustle?

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Many fleets dread the downtime. But according to Rush Truck Centers, front-end alignments can be done in as little as 90 minutes. Photo:  Rush Truck Centers

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Many fleets dread the downtime. But according to Rush Truck Centers, front-end alignments can be done in as little as 90 minutes. Photo:  Rush Truck Centers

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There are always trade-offs when it comes to maintenance practices, and tires are no different. In a perfect world, every fleet would take the time and spend the money to make sure its trucks' tires were properly aligned and balanced. But trucks are heavy – and the kinetic forces that surge through a suspension after hitting one good pothole are many times stronger than anything a passenger car ever has to deal with. That one pothole can undo an alignment job in a split second. So why bother?

The same philosophy holds true for balancing tires: Every truck shakes and shimmies its way down the road to one degree or another. So unless that shimmy is really, really bad, why bother?

The counter-argument here is a pretty simple one: The biggest fleet expenses typically are drivers, tires, and fuel. If you're having issues getting one or more of those costs under control, an alignment and/or tire balancing program might yield dividends.

Your fleet may want to invest in alignment equipment from companies such as Hunter or Bee Line to do your own alignments.

Victor Cummings, vice president, service operations, for mega-dealer group Rush Enterprises, says that often fleets don't perform front-end alignments themselves. Instead, they take the truck to a service shop. This means it can be seen as an inconvenience to take the vehicle out of service. But, he says, fleets that do so enjoy some significant benefits.

“The biggest advantages to front-end alignments for heavy-duty vehicles include improved fuel economy and reduced tread wear, thus extending the life of your tires,” Cummings says. “Depending on the severity, a misalignment could also present a safety issue, so it is an ...Read the rest of this story

29 Sep by Tags:

Bankers anxious over consumer reactions to Equifax breach

Bankers anxious over consumer reactions to Equifax breach

Equifax said on Wednesday it "will let consumers easily lock and unlock access to their Equifax credit files" by the end of January. The pledge came in an apology from the company's interim chief executive for the exposure of personal identification information for 143 million people in a cyber attack. Restrictions on reports, however, stall the credit checks lenders need for making legitimate loans, requiring borrowers take the extra step of getting the restrictions removed.


...Read the rest of this story