Monday, April 25, 2016

As seen on TV – The Beyond Compliance Truck Monkey

The catch phrase in the trucking regulatory world right now is “Beyond Compliance.” It’s a
congressionally mandated program that the feds are noodling around how to make it happen.

Via Suburban Auto Group's website
The gist is to reward motor carriers that go above and beyond regulatory compliance. Give them a better compliance score or something of the sort.

The wrinkle in all of this, highlighted by FMCSA representatives’ comments at listening sessions, is what is “beyond” compliance? What programs or technology achieve all this? How will it be monitored?

Enter the Truck Monkey Beyond Compliance model, inspired by Suburban Auto Group’s Trunk Monkey. You may recall the Trunk Monkey ad campaign from few years ago. It’s true internet gold. Google it. You won’t be disappointed.

Building off the functions of the Trunk Monkey, the Beyond Compliance Truck Monkey would take care of the hands-free communications truck drivers need.

FMCSA seems particularly interested in ill or fatigued drivers. The Beyond Compliance Truck Monkey could easily be an on-the-road solution, based on the Rescue Trunk Monkey model.

But WAIT. There’s MORE.

The potential is limitless, and not just to make FMCSA happy with your over-the-top compliance. The Beyond Compliance Truck Monkey could be utilized as a truck theft deterrent.

The concept is obviously solid and in its infancy. But as we toy with the functionality of the Beyond Compliance Truck Monkey, we realized that its fundamental purpose is to find favor with law enforcement. Fortunately for us, we won’t have to do any beta testing on that one. There’s already a Trunk Monkey for that.

Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll have to overcome a few glitches to get the Beyond Compliance Truck Monkey road ready. As you can see, many models of the Trunk Monkey have been recalled.

Meh, it’s as solid as any other idea that’s been cooked up so far.

(Editor’s note: A hat tip to the pilot of the Spirit of the American Trucker, Jon Osburn, for the off-the-cuff Trunk Monkey remark that led to hilarity and this piece on the absurdity of a Beyond Compliance program.)


  1. The FMCSA has decided that mindless,electronic idiots should be behind the wheel of a big truck, instead of having a well trained, common sense, self thinking driver behind the wheel. This industry over the last 31 years that I've been out here has become a complete joke. The FMCSA wants everyone to believe that all these electronics will make trucking safer. I'm just fed up with the ignorance.

    1. spot on...we refer to them simply as "steering wheel holders"

  2. Carol / small companyApril 26, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    This is right up the alley of big trucking companies. They have the money and resources to " go beyond". Big companies have been trying for years to oust the smaller owner operators and give them the edge. We are safer AND dependable which isn't something they can always say. I'm not knocking safe drivers that drive for the larger companies but it is a fact that the more untrained drivers put behind the wheel then things happen.

  3. instead of a trunk monkey, there should be am FMCSA monkey - oh wait - the monkey would probably be smarter! all this garbage is to give deep pockets an edge to compensate for the 2 weeks training the mega carriers give. And lets not forget the financial factor - who stands to profit? the electronic toy manufacturers! Our government has set the bar extremely high on wasteful spending, but i notice they didn't waste a dime on a study to see if any of these electronic toys really make the road safer - AND they have the "ostrich move" down to a science. If electronic toys really made the road safer, the Walmart crash could never have happened. There are small carriers out there that have never had a bad inspection, never been involved in an accident. Will this get them any kind of leg up in beyond compliance? no. They will show up as worse than the big carriers because the big carriers have lots of money they steal from the drivers.

  4. What in the world is going on??? Why is big brother so interested in MICRO managing the truck driver??? Don't they have something more productive to do??? A human body knows when it needs to rest, needs rest, electronics, log books, micro management, is not going to change that. Intrusion just because they can!!!! a profile of the drivers who are having the wrecks should be done. But the outcome of that may not go where big brother wants to go!!!! A 2 million mile plus, 35 year plus driver with a SAFE driving record said that.


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