Log Book

| April 30, 2009

FMCSA will use the new “two strikes” policy only for investigations and cases initiated on or after April 1, 2009. Investigations and cases initiated prior to that date will continue to be considered for maximum penalty assessment under the “three strikes” policy.
- Avery Vise

Peterbilt offers fuel-saving improvements
Peterbilt has introduced its Aerodynamic Package for its on-highway Models 386 and 384, as well as a Fuel-Efficiency Package for its traditionally styled Models 388 and 389.

Both packages are designed to reduce vehicle drag by up to 24 percent and to provide fuel savings gains of up to 12 percent, resulting in an estimated $5,600 in savings annually versus comparable models without the package.

The Aerodynamic Package includes: roof fairing and trim tabs, new sleeper roof transition, enhanced chassis fairings, aero battery box/toolbox, composite sun visor, sleeper extender and aerodynamic mirrors. The Aerodynamic Package will also be available from Paccar Parts for Model 386 and 384 retrofit.

The Fuel-Efficiency Package includes aerodynamic mirrors, sleeper extender, roof fairing and trim tabs, composite sun visor and a sleeper roof transition. It also will be available from Paccar Parts for Models 388 and 389, as well as earlier Models 378 and 379.

Peterbilt is also introducing interior enhancements for on-highway and vocational trucks that include a more efficient air conditioning system and more durable and attractive dash material. The new designs are included on all three interior levels for Models 386, 384, 389, 388, 367 and 365.
– Max Heine

Study points to screening for truckers’ sleep apnea
A new 15-month study has confirmed previous research that obesity-driven testing identifies commercial truck drivers with a high likelihood of obstructive sleep apnea and suggests that requiring OSA screenings could reduce the risk of truck crashes resulting from driver fatigue and sleepiness.

“Truck drivers with sleep apnea have up to a seven-fold increased risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash,” said Dr. Philip Parks, a medical director at health care provider Lifespan and the study’s lead author. The study results were published in the March Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

OSA is a syndrome characterized by sleep-disordered breathing, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep attacks, psychomotor deficits and disrupted nighttime sleep. It increases the risk of motor vehicle accidents.

Approximately 2.4 million to 3.9 million licensed commercial drivers in the U.S. are expected to have OSA. In addition to being unrecognized or unreported by drivers, OSA often remains undiagnosed by many primary care clinicians despite the fact that OSA increases the risks of hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is considering recommendations to require sleep apnea screening for all obese drivers based on body mass index, which is calculated based on height and weight.

“OSA screenings of truck drivers will be ineffective unless they are federally mandated or required by employers,” Dr. Kales said.
- Staff reports

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