Monday, August 27, 2007

Auntie Em, Auntie Em, Was it a twister?

SuperValu in Mechanicsville, Va experienced a four and a half hour complete shut down of recieving operations today. Between the hours of 4:30am and 9am edt, the Mechanicsville Va. warehouse ceased operating in its normal yet hectic mode.

When asked for the reason why operations were ceased I was told that the computer system in Minnesota failed for some reason or another. The event prevented the Virgina warehouse from doing any sort of receiving business.

I ask, is this a common way to run a business of this size? SuperValu owns and operates many large warehouses through out the USA. To have them tied so tightly together through networking so that if one fails it takes down another does not sound like such a great idea. Was it a twister? Maybe a lightning strike hit the wires in Minnesota and traveled all the way to Va? It could happen you know!!

Seems to me that maybe it would be prudent to have each warehouse autonomous with hourly uploads of information to the main frame at the head office. Heck, even upload every one minute as far as I can see. But, to have such a thin client that an event hundreds of miles away stops normal operations is not good matter how much money you save. Walmart, Food Lion or even a local grocery chain can keep they're stores and warehouses up and running when any part of it's network goes down then SuperValu should be able to also.

Now, a few disclaimers!!

The info I got about the head office crashing came from a lowly dock worker. So, I did not take it at face value. I tried to access SuperValu's website and couldn't even get a 404 error. They were just not there. Nothing....loading page time outs up the ying yang. So, I'm gonna step out and assume (ya I know) that there was indeed a massive failure of the SuperValu network. I'm sure someone somewhere in Minnesota is pushing for a more autonomous setup for SuperValu's warehouses and I support him/her 100%. Come on SuperValu...get smart and put some funds into your IT system. Back ups and redundancy are the name of the game. Not spending the money on secure networking is really stupid.

Peace, love and put that hammer down.

i'm outta here

Thursday, March 08, 2007

US DOT starts Mexican drivers pilot program.

Just a short note on something that is becoming real in the Asphalt Nation.

Truck drivers from Mexico will be allowed to deliver loads beyond the 25 mile limit now in place along the US/Mexican border. This is going into effect within the next 30 to 60 days.

Mexican drivers are supposed to be held to the same standards as the US/Canadian drivers.

What concerns me is will they be paid the same rates as their northern brethren?
Is Mexico making sure that their drivers are compliant with US/Canadian standards.

Section 391.11(2) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) states that:

(Drivers must show that they) Can read and speak the English language sufficiently to converse with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records.

This is the one crumb in the bed that bothers me. I've seen as many as four drivers climb out of a truck made to handle two drivers. Do all these people speak english? My experience with them as been friendly and informative. However, most times one driver is the spokesman and interpreter. That's a violiation of FMCSR 391.11(2).

If the big companies that hire these drivers don't have a problem with them not speaking English will DOT?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Trucker's Prayer

After driving for only a few years I came across a 
postcard in a little truck stop.  It was a picture 
of a line of parked trucks.  Printed on the card was
a trucker's prayer.  I'd like to share it today.

Written by Carlos Lee Akers, Sr. 
Date written not known

Trucker's Prayer

Dear God above bless this truck I drive,
   and help me keep someone alive.
Be my mortal sight this day, 
   on streets where little children play.
Bless my helper fast asleep when the night is long, 
   and keep my cargo safe and sound 
   through the hours big and round.
Make my judgement sound as steel, 
   and be my hands upon the wheel.
Bless the traveler going past, 
   and teach them not to go so fast.
Give me strength for every trip, 
   so I may care for what they ship.
And make me mindful every mile, 
   that life is just a little while.

That was pretty neat don't ya thiink.  In this lonely dangerous job it's nice to have something or someone you can always fall back on when a moment of confusion or disparation presents itself.

Well, that's all for the moment.
Stop back by when you can.

Thinking about a little note on the selling off of US highways to foriegn countries.  I know it's an old issue.  But, it bugs me that the main media refuses to bring it up.

back in a short