News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
Idaho eases hemp transport prohibition; too late to help arrested drivers
Friday Short Haul - Tennessee carrier quits, signs a carrier is going down, retaining drivers
New phone app hopes to alleviate shipper waits
Senate Transportation Committee gets an earful from trucking execs
Friday Short Haul - Best fleets to drive for, FMCSA delays ELDT rule, Cold Carriers closes doors
Baylor Trucking deals with consequences of ELD outage
WIT announces first-ever Driver Ambassador, names February Member of the Month
Friday Short Haul - ATA at White House USMCA signing, AB-5 fight continues, toughest jobs
May dates announced for this year's roadside inspection blitz
States work to toughen up left-lane-hogging laws
Friday Short Haul - Pilot Flying J name change, CRST-Swift lawsuit, Schneider named innovator
Seven drivers named as TCA's Highway Angels
Travel advisories and restrictions announced for Midwest weekend storm
Friday Short Haul - Senators demand GPS app updates, Jason's Law survey, ATA applauds USMCA, FMCSA's truck crash survey
Research group recommends a national autonomous truck policy
A glimpse into driving long-haul in China
Friday Short Haul - Court blocks AB-5, SBTC vs. FMCSA, Can Opener Bridge
Loses appeal: Walmart ordered to pony up $54 million to drivers
WIT and Walmart seek nominations for Female Driver of the Year
Friday Short Haul - Sweatshop on Wheels, judge exempts truckers from AB-5, Fleetwood closes doors
Trucking Truth's top stories for 2019
Random drug tests of drivers to double in 2020
Friday Short Haul - New EV semi, tonnage down, turnover up, Grapevine fatality, runaway truck tires demolish car
Trucking industry goes out of its way for Christmas charitable giving
Fuel card provider hit with FTC lawsuit
Friday Short Haul - Driver coercion, zero emissions, driver fatalities
Hard enforcement for ELD compliance now in effect
State CDL agencies get reprieve from drug & alcohol clearinghouse deadline
Friday Short Haul - JB Hunt's Wreaths Across America, Plus.ai butter run, states look for zero emissions
Carriers muster to pick up Celadon drivers, employees
Will Amazon's pay-per-day plan influence the industry?
Freight volume and rates downturn turns into a 'bloodbath'
Friday Short Haul - Independent contractors getting booted out of CA, winter weather resources, ransomware attack
Knowing when to say goodbye to an unprofitable shipper
Schneider donates trucks; Congress considers women-driver-friendly bill
Friday Short Haul - CTA files lawsuit against California, Highway Hero nominations sought, video of "Move Over" crash
Tesla announces new electric Semi model
Not everyone happy with potential FMCSA clearinghouse delay
Friday Short Haul - AI taking driving jobs, CRV scam, Truckers protest AB-5, ELDs quit working
Investigators cracking down on truck accident fraudulent lawsuits
So you want to start your own trucking company?
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA emergency exemptions, snow plows, FedEx employee bribery charges
Human smuggling via big rigs on the increase
Carriers, drivers look at ways to deal with California's AB-5
Friday Short Haul - Millennials and trucking, Truckers Christmas Group, Navistar settlement
Too many drivers still don't know to "Move Over"
Are trucker strikes a thing of the past?
Friday Short Haul - Passenger car drivers, spotted lanternfly, women drivers
OOIDA makes final push for better HOS rules
Car-truck crash fatalities continue to increase
Friday Short Haul - Amazon's fleet of day cabs, legislator's disclosure, WTA petition
ATA chief takes on truck-accident lawyers
Lonely on the road? Get a furry friend
Friday Short Haul - Lab-grown meat, fraudulent freight brokering, FMCSA HOS committee, FMCSA Clearinghouse
UPS takes giant leap in its drone delivery program
Female drivers are safer bet for trucking companies
Friday Short Haul - Embark gets financing, FMCSA announces safety grants, Covenant exits Mexico routes, and trucking statistics
Emissions standards battle heats up between the EPA and California
Smog checks in the future for California truck drivers
Friday Short Haul - Volvo Dynamic Steering, Meals for 18 Wheels, speeding crackdown, OOIDA opposes legislation
Telematics could be insurance-premium-saving boon for fleets
54 percent of survey respondents still not impressed with telematics technology
Friday Short Haul - Walmart video, it's churn, not shortage, California's independent contractor bill, hemp drivers plea
TCA honors three Highway Angels
Now they're talking about "smart" trailers
Friday Short Haul - Detention-time comments, truck orders decline, diesel fuel shortage
Berkeley study says reducing independent truckers can alleviate climate change
Clearing up concerns about the drug and alcohol clearinghouse
Friday Short Haul - Hurricane Dorian, Speed limiter bill, Thank a Driver campaign
Georgia jury awards $280 million for truck-driver-caused multi-fatality
Friday Short Haul - New eCascadias, Top cities for truck driver jobs, Push against driverless trucks
Decision on California drivers' employee/contractor status coming down to the wire
UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment
FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes
Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions
CVSA asks for new truck crash study
Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination
Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race
New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes
Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav
Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity
DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure
Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs
FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers
It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle.
Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans
Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire
Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills
Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status
ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant
New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters
Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week
Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July
Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks?
Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks
Experts warn of active wildland fire season
More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking
Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award
Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs
Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers
Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo
HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers
FMCSA takes a further look at detention time
Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest
Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week
Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo
Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments
Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration
Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts
Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles
Autonomous trucks on USPS test run
Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC
Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA
Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins
Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole
Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South
Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets
Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers
'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states
Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers
Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business
ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for
Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks
Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings
Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels
Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business
Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise
Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need
Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border
Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules
Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates
Don't get scammed by skimmers
Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking
Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers
Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy
Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap
Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising
FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website
Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award
The hidden danger of looking but not seeing
Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout
Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire
Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases
Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness
Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports
New tax changes hit drivers hard
FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military
Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use
Congress committee looks at state of America's highways
Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same
Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks
Detention - A problem still in search of a solution
February Highway Angels honorees named
Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets
Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage?
Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage
Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team
Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards
Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers
LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30
2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry
Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018
TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award
TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year
Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers
New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018
Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup
Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks
Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017
Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way
Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road
Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach
Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal
Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice
The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers
The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017
We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better
Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon
ATA chief takes on truck-accident lawyers
Last Updated: Tue, October 8, 2019
Fatal I-29 accident near Grand Forks, North Dakota
American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear is fed up with exorbitant lawsuits against trucking companies and their drivers, and is asking trucking industry leaders to join him in lobbying Congress for tort reform legislation.
"I'm sick of playing defense while trial lawyers buy jets and yachts at the expense of trucking jobs," Spear told an audience at the recent annual Management Conference & Exhibition held in San Diego this year.
He recounted as an example a Texas case from a few years ago where a plaintiff won a $89.7 million judgment against Werner when two children were killed as the driver lost control of the pickup truck they were in, swerved to the other side of the road, and crashed head on into the Werner truck.
According to court documents, conditions on the Interstate were poor, with freezing rain creating limited visibility, and black ice. The court awarded the huge judgment to the surviving family based on the contention that Werner should have told its driver to pull over and quit driving until the poor road conditions had passed.
"If a car going the opposite direction veers out of control, crosses the median and crashes into a truck going 25mph below the speed limit and is brought to a controlled stop after the collision, you shouldn’t have to pay $90 million for a tragedy your [truck] driver didn’t cause!" Spear told the crowd.
"It’s time to go on the offensive, tell our story to policymakers... and take the Hill."
Spear might also be having in mind a case currently in litigation that more perfectly illustrates the stranglehold that lawyers have on the trucking industry when a truck driver just happens to be on the road at the exact time that a driver loses control of his or her vehicle and swerves into the truck.
In this ongoing case, a North Dakota mother is suing a carrier for $10 million, claiming the truck driver and the trucking company are responsible for the deaths of her two children.
She has filed the lawsuit even though all investigations into the accident declared the truck driver innocent of any wrongdoing.
The crash occurred in March 2018 when Fargo, North Dakota, resident Trista Curry was driving her vehicle on icy Interstate 29 near Grand Forks. Because of icy conditions, Curry's vehicle spun out of control and slid into a Pan-O-Gold Baking Company truck being driven by Michael Soyring.
Soyring saw the out-of-control vehicle coming toward him and made a steering maneuver and braked to try to avoid the crash.
Curry lost her nine-year-old and one-year-old sons in the crash. Her three-year-old daughter survived with serious injuries, and Curry suffered broken ribs, a liver laceration and a fractured arm.
Soyring was not injured in the crash.
During the investigation into the collision, no charges were filed against either driver. Soyring was found to not be driving distracted, was driving safely for conditions, and his equipment was all in good working order.
Also, there was no evidence that Curry was driving distracted, and her children were all properly restrained.
In the lawsuit documents, Curry is claiming that Soyring, “failed to exercise extreme cautions by driving too fast for weather conditions and not managing a reasonable following distance for traffic ahead of him, which resulted in him crashing his tractor trailer into Trista’s car.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Pan-O-Gold should have ordered Soyring to pull over because of the weather and poor driving conditions, and accused the company of negligence for allegedly not equipping the truck with safety equipment that would have prevented the collision or lessened the severity of the crash.
"If anyone in this convention hall thinks the plaintiffs’ bar is going to give the trucking industry a free pass, think again. These 'nuclear' verdicts are strangling our industry," ATA's Spear said in his "State of the Industry" speech, referencing just this kind of egregious litigious behavior that is encouraged by greedy lawyers.
Suing trucking companies is a lucrative law firm specialty
Nothing in Spear's speech about tort reform for truck accident litigation indicated he wished to diminish the fact that there are many accidents where the truck driver is clearly at fault, and compensation is owed to the victims.
He is merely wanting to do something about the exorbitant judgments against trucking firms in general, and especially when the trucking companies are not found to be at fault. He also seeks reform about the law firms that pursue these kinds of accidents to litigate for huge dollar amounts.
One law firm, for example, which will remain nameless, that was selected at random from the first page of listings during an Internet search for "truck accident lawsuits," illustrates the eagerness with which law firms seek out victims of vehicle vs. truck collisions.
This law firm's online advertising blatantly states that truck accident settlements are often very large dollar amounts because of the insurance requirements for commercial carriers.
They warn their potential clients viewing their website that trucking companies employ "teams of attorneys," that put pressure on accident victims to either drop their lawsuits or settle for much less. But they say that experienced truck accident attorneys, such as themselves, know the ways that "difficult" insurance companies employ to "try and get out of paying for a victim's injury claims."
Even though these truck accident attorneys admit that the accident victims might not know who is responsible for causing the accident, they say they can name anybody and everybody as a defendant who might have had any role in the accident.
Potential defendants can include the truck driver and the company he or she drives for, the truck manufacturer, the insurance company, other drivers, and even the city or county government in whose jurisdiction the accident occurred.
Spear emphasized that actively lobbying legislators is critical for the continued growth of the trucking industry, and reducing large payouts for accidents through tort reform is one place to start.
"The U.S. trucking industry now spends more than $10 billion each year on safety... including technology, training and compliance -- all part of a concerted effort to save lives, not our bottom line. This, despite the fact that two-thirds of the accidents involving trucks are caused by passenger vehicles," he said in his speech.
CEO Spear's speech
Dealing With The Weather
Trucking Industry Concerns