Driverless Big Rig

Daimler Trucks thinks a driverless big rig will be part of our future.

Daimler debuted its Future Truck 2025 recently in Germany. Using a "Highway Pilot" system, the prototype semi is capable of driving itself while hauling a full load at speeds exceeding 50 mph, according to the company.

Much of the focus on driverless vehicles spotlights passenger cars. However, there is nothing to suggest similar technologies couldn't be applied to commercial trucks.

"Autonomous driving will revolutionize road freight transport and create major benefits for everyone involved," said Daimler's Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard.

Potential benefits highlight safety systems that might reduce issues like drowsy driving. Bernhard said that an autonomous vehicle could allow truckers to take on new roles while still in the cab of a truck. "It will not only free them from having to perform monotonous tasks; it will also give them more time for tasks that were previously handled by office workers at shipping companies," he said. "In other words, it will be possible for truckers to advance to new positions as transport managers, making truck driving a more attractive profession. Autonomous driving could thus help to resolve the shortage of truck drivers." Google and several other U.S. manufacturers are in various levels of testing autonomous vehicles. Some expect these vehicles to be on U.S. roads within the next five to seven years; state and local governments are in the process of establishing the "rules of the road" for these vehicles. Right now, Mercedes seems to be focusing its energy on developing the truck for use in European Union countries. Source: www.yahoo.com/news

Manager Admits Bribing Cops

"Twenty dollars owed to cops." Prosecutors say that notation, found in a ledger seized from Jim Mazz Auto in Buffalo, N.Y., is the latest evidence of a "pay to play" bribery scheme in the city's towing business.

The ledger came to light when the man who kept it, a former Jim Mazz manager, admitted taking part in a conspiracy to bribe Buffalo police officers.

"We were very lucky," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito Jr. of the ledger. "It was perfect evidence."

Christopher Mahoney, the former manager who oversaw the daily ledger, admitted taking part in a scheme that included paying off police officers over a three-year period ending in 2012.

Mahoney's admissions, part of a plea deal that could send him to prison for two years, come as the latest development in an FBI-led investigation into an alleged criminal scheme involving Buffalo's towing business.

The allegation is that James Mazzariello and others at Jim Mazz Auto paid off city police officers, and in return the officers directed towing work to his company.

Ippolito said the bribes ranged from $20 to $50 for each accident, and he indicated the government has proof of at least 19 bribe payments totaling $500.

Steven M. Cohen, Mazzariello's defense lawyer, wonders why no police officers have been charged in the case.

Cohen, who has represented Jim Mazz Auto since 1998, said the government's case is really about retribution, not justice. He claims Mazzariello was the first one to bring allegations of bribes and shakedowns to the attention of the FBI and Buffalo City Hall, and now he's the one being accused of wrongdoing. Source: www.buffalonews.com.
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PPI Management System

leftimage ba4eaThe Parking Enforcer system utilizes the capabilities of the Internet and smartphone and brings private property towing to a new level of professionalism. Providers are able to offer Parking Enforcer's system on exclusive cloud-based software at no cost to private property owners. The system provides instant property notifications, transmits notifications, stores vehicle records, enables online property enforcement approval, and more.

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Providers are able to offer Parking Enforcer's system on exclusive cloud-based software at no cost to private property owners. The system provides instant property notifications, transmits notifications, stores vehicle records, enables online property enforcement approval, and more.

Be sure to see Parking Enforcer in Booth 706 at Tow Expo Int'l in San Antonio, Texas, Aug. 7-9.
By Don Lomax
Spotlight's On You!

What will it take for towing professionals to get better press?
1) I don't see anything wrong with the press we get.
2) It begins with us, and we need to clean up our act.
3) The state associations need to submit positive news about the work we do.
4) Industry publications could do more to present our industry in a better light.
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Civic Pride

Towing professionals have always been very civic-minded and community-oriented. Whether it's sponsoring a little league baseball team or having one or two trucks in the town's holiday parade, it's not uncommon to see a towing company's presence. The general public usually sees a towing company in times of some degree of distress; so it's great when the local tower can be seen in the light as being a part of the greater good of a community. When tow companies seek out those opportunities that allow them to be presented in such a light, it's one of the best "business cards" a company can hand out.

--Charles Duke
Comedy Series Highlights Towing's Hilarious Side
Every Industry Pro can find some humor in this! Reporter Emily Oz shows you how the Web Comedy Series "Bill & Sons Towing" is taking aim at some of the job's funniest moments. And best of all, your laughable experience may end up on the next episode of "Bill & Sons Towing" -- we show you how. This video is brought to you by Hino Trucks. Hino Light and Medium Duty Trucks are the fastest growing brand in America. From Cab-Over and Hybrid Light Duty to Class 7 Medium Duty applications, Hino delivers.
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