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State DOT officials discuss integration of automated, non-automated vehicles



Jennifer Cohan, secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation says the biggest challenge for state DOTs is how to manage an automated vehicle operating beside a 1965 pick up truck. (Courtesy: STATE OF DELAWARE)

WASHINGTON — One of the biggest challenges in the future facing state departments of transportation when it comes to the broader deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles or CAVs is how to integrate them and their needs with the non-CAV population.

“The good news is that there are a ton of things going on and a ton of information out there regarding CAVs. The bad news is that there are a ton of things going on and a ton of information out there regarding CAVs,” said Jennifer Cohan, secretary of the Delaware DOT during a “Knowledge Session” held at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2019 Washington Briefing recently.

“The challenge for state DOTs is to have a plan for a [transportation] system that can manage new autonomous vehicles operating alongside a 1965 pickup truck,” she said. “We have seen a lot of states get out in front with legislation only to go back and make changes to it. Handling the deployment of CAVs and developing the public policy that guides them is the hard part.”

Cohan’s comments were included in a recent article on the briefing as reported in the Journal, AASHTO’s official publication.

Kirk Steudle, vice president of transportation for Econolite and a former director of the Michigan DOT who moderated the discussion, echoed Cohan’s point about the public policy difficulties.

“One of the biggest issues is keeping legislation correct; while it is hard to get legislation passed, the truly hardest thing is to get legislation corrected,” he said. “Good advice here is to slow down and learn what is happening. For it is hard to plan for something we don’t truly understand yet.”

Laurie Berman, director of Caltrans, noted that one result of her agency’s focus on “keeping one foot in today, managing the current system, while incorporating the needs of future technology” is the use of a new striping material for California’s roadways.

“It benefits today’s users because at night it offers better reflectivity,” she said. “But that works for autonomous vehicles, as well, so they can ‘see’ the road markings better.”

Russell McMurry, commissioner of the Georgia DOT, agreed with Caltrans’ Berman, noting that getting “back to the basics, with good signs, good stripes, and no potholes” benefits CAVs and non-CAVs alike. But there are other technologies involved with CAVs that state DOTs need to incorporate as well, such as dedicated short range communications or DSRC that allow CAVs to tap into traffic signal data, among other information.

“Don’t get stuck in ‘paralysis by analysis’ because there are so many technology forks in the road” CAVs may follow, McMurry said. “To me, it’s about how we can be ‘technology agnostic’ about our future with CAVs. From our perspective, we need to be ready for anything.”

And the amount of data generated by CAVs is another challenge state DOTs need to prepare themselves for, said Tim Weisenberger, project manager/technical programs for SAE International. “We’re talking about whole terabytes of data here. How will you be able to just find what you need? It is a tremendous challenge” where CAVs are concerned, he said.

Ed Bradley, program manager for Toyota, added that not only will there be “so many facets to CAV technology” that state DOTs will need to be thinking about, but how to help everyday motorists be accepting of them.

“There will need to be significant consumer education and acceptance [of CAVs] before we start building them in greater numbers; they need to be aware of their capabilities and liabilities,” he emphasized. “They will have to work for everyone in all conditions, all of the time.”

As to when “greater numbers” of CAVs will appear on U.S. roads, Bradley noted that it won’t be anytime soon.

“I don’t have an answer on a timeline; some say a decade, others two decades,” he said. “We envision higher levels of automation will deploy first in smaller fleets in certain domains.”

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Dupré Logistics expands shop, services in Pecos, Texas



Dupré Logistics is a privately held, asset-based provider of transportation and logistics services that include energy and chemical transport, dedicated truck transportation, site logistics, and freight brokerage. (Courtesy: DUPRE LOGISTICS)

LAFAYETTE, La. — Because of growing business opportunities and demand in the region, Dupré Logistics has expanded its shop and services in Pecos, Texas.

Dupré Logistics has been operating in the West Texas area since late 2014.

The new facility, which is four times the size of its predecessor, will open at noon, June 3, with a Grand Opening Celebration that is open to the public and will include lunch.

The maintenance facility will service and maintain the Dupré fleet and will open for business to other Class 8 providers in the region. Along with the new and larger maintenance facility, Dupré is also building a housing unit to accommodate non-indigenous workers in light of the severe housing shortage in the area.

“For our company to be successful, it’s critical that we have adequate support for our fleet,” said Dominic Dupré, director of operations, Crude Oil Group. “A major key to the success of our business in this area is the ability to maintain our equipment adequately and quickly. The combination of a dry, dusty environment and subpar road conditions creates an unforgiving environment for a tractor and trailer.”

Dupré operates across Texas and southeast New Mexico hauling raw crude oil from the wellhead to pipeline injection sites and rail facilities. In the West Texas region, Dupré currently employs 40 drivers in the area and is looking to hire more.

“We’ve created similar shops open to the public in a few other spots across the country, but based on the demand in Pecos — and the distance to other maintenance shops, we believe our new facility will be beneficial to the region and save other fleets time and money,” said Scott Allen, director of fleet assets and maintenance.

Dupré Logistics is a privately held, asset-based provider of transportation and logistics services that include energy and chemical transport, dedicated truck transportation, site logistics, and freight brokerage. It specializes in tanker, hazmat, and petrochemical transportation and complex supply chain solutions in industrial and consumer products.

For more information about Dupré Logistics, go to



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Utility Trailers Glade Spring, Virginia, plant receives Liberty Mutual safety award



Glade Spring plant employees gather to celebrate the company’ safety award. Back row frim left, Ralph McMahan, Richard Carver, Rick Mitchell, Michael Phipps, Derrick McGhee, David Sturgill, Sam Hawkins, Tim Jones, Tim McVey. Middle Row: Sam Cassell, Marc Worley, Clarissa Bise, Lucas Jordan, Jeremy Casey, Coy Stokes, Linda Williams, Jeff Hendricks, Odie Barker Front Row: Keith Walsh and Richard Williams. (Courtesy: UTILITY TRAILER MANUFACTURING CO.)

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. — Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co., said that its Glade Spring, Virginia, manufacturing plant has received the Liberty Mutual Silver Safety Award from Liberty Insurance.

The award is based on the days away, restricted and transferred (DART) rate, which is calculated from the number of hours worked relative to the number of accidents at the plant

In 2018, Utility’s Glade Spring plant had a DART rate of only 1.36, with over 1.3 million worked hours. The average DART rate for the trailer manufacturing industry is significantly higher, at 3.9.  A Silver Safety Award is presented for DART rates that are at least 40% lower than the industry average rate.  The Glade Spring plant’s DART rate was nearly 1/3 of the industry rate.

“Receiving a safety award is an honor and takes a total team effort to accomplish. Keeping safety at the forefront everyday with employee participation is key to earning such an award. Employees identifying hazards, removing them, or managing them in the workplace, keeps us all safe,” said Keith Walsh, Utility’s Glade Spring Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Manager.

“This is the fifth Liberty Safety Award for the Glade Spring plant. This is a huge honor, particularly considering less than 0.5% of Liberty’s customers receive this award. More importantly, our employees are continuously focused on the safety of themselves and each other,” said Bob Griffis, corporate EHS manager for Utility Trailer Manufacturing, Co.

“Walking through the front door of the Glade Spring facility, the commitment this team has toward safety is obvious,” said Sam Cassell, Utility’s Glade Spring plant manager. “It is reflected by the five safety awards hanging on the wall. Each of our over 700 team members were part of achieving each of those awards. An award like this is more than a commitment towards doing the job safely, it is a commitment each team member has toward each other. Many of our employees will stop others, even managers, to point out safety issues. That is a commitment toward safety and to each other. I cannot express how proud I am of each person on the shop floor.”

Richard Williams of Liberty Mutual Insurance, Risk Control Services, presented the Safety Award to a group of Glade Spring employees on behalf of all Utility’s Glade Spring employees.

Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co. was founded in 1914 and designs and manufactures dry freight vans, flatbeds, refrigerated vans, Tautliner curtain-sided trailers, and aerodynamic technologies. Utility currently operates six trailer manufacturing facilities across North America.

For more information, visit



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Carrier Transicold upgrades dealer locator app



The Carrier Transicold Dealers smartphone app for Google Android devices and Apple iOS devices has been improved with new features and expanded functionality. (Courtesy: CARRIER TRANSICOLD)

ATHENS, Ga. — Carrier Transicold’s free app for mobile devices that helps refrigerated truck operators find nearby Carrier Transicold dealerships has been upgraded with a fresh appearance, a significantly expanded dealer database and helpful new user features.

Now called “Carrier Transicold Dealers,” the app works with smartphones and tablets, so drivers can quickly and easily locate and connect to service operations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and, thanks to the 2019 update, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, according to Mary Udry, marketing manager, Carrier Transicold.

“The improved app now covers the entirety of the Americas – more than 300 dealerships in all,” Udry said. “And for the first time, it offers users multi-language support, enabling the choice of English, French, Spanish or Portuguese. The look and feel of the app has been modernized, making it more intuitive to use, and the amount of helpful reference material has been expanded.”

As part of the app’s expanded offering, Carrier Transicold Dealers now enables access to more operator manuals for current and legacy Carrier Transicold truck and trailer refrigeration systems, heating systems and auxiliary power units (APUs). As before, the app includes a convenient alarm code list for the Carrier Transicold APX control system, providing descriptions of potential problems and corrective steps for different warnings.

The “Nearby Dealers” function finds the closest dealer to the user’s location, including a map, address, contact details and hours of operation. Depending on device and connection, the app can auto-dial the dealership and can help provide navigation to the dealership. Where applicable, quick links are provided to connect to individual dealer websites or to share dealership details via an emailed link to content within Carrier Transicold’s online dealer locator at

Most of the app’s resources require a cell or wi-fi connection, however the dealer lookup menu is available offline – users can always find dealers by selecting a country, plus state or province if applicable, from alphabetical listings.

Carrier Transicold Dealers works on smartphones and tablets using Google’s Android and Apple Inc.’s iOS operating systems. The latest version (3.0) can be downloaded through Google Play or the Apple App Store.

For more information, visit Follow Carrier on Twitter: @SmartColdChain.

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