News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
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
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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
Are trucker strikes a thing of the past?
Last Updated: Mon, October 21, 2019
It's a common refrain among truck-industry bloggers and on trucker's forums – "Truckers Move America," "Stores would be out of toilet paper in three days without truckers," "Truckers could strike and shut down the economy."
Many truck driver complaints that lead to these sentiments are real, no doubt.
Mean driver salaries -- adjusted for inflation -- have unquestioningly declined over the decades. Researchers note that from the '70s to the '80s mean driver salaries declined by 24 percent, and from the '80s to today have declined by 35 percent in some areas.
Driver issues like overlong detentions, over-regulation, and over-monitoring by overreaching company managers do indeed take their toll on driver satisfaction.
America's 1.8 million truck drivers haul some 71 percent of this country's freight, amounting to an $800 billion dollar chunk of the economy. So, the question remains: Why don't truck drivers wield this supposed influence and strike nationally, ending their grievances and bettering their situation?
A stark reason why …
Business Insider online took up the challenge and answered the question with a comprehensive article titled, "There's a stark reason why America's 1.8 Million long-haul truck drivers can't strike."
To answer the question Business Insider went back several decades, to President Carter's era in fact, to find the genesis for why truck drivers can't do like what General Motors workers did recently and mount a walkout that eventually resulted in an $11,000 bonus for every worker, and the retention of 9,000 jobs, among other benefits.
That walkout cost General Motors $2 billion and was a major win for the United Automobile Workers labor union.
Nationwide, last year saw a record number of represented workers strike – 485,000 of them from school teachers to hotel workers.
Truck drivers almost 50 years ago did manage to wield some influence. In 1970 truck drivers nationwide refused to drive for a month, creating havoc in some major cities like Chicago and St. Louis, and forcing authorities in Cleveland, Ohio, to call out the National Guard for security.
That strike, under the auspices of the Teamsters Union, resulted in a pay increase of nearly 30 percent for Teamster members.
Nationwide driver strikes no more?
But those days are gone for truckers, and Business Insiders' analysis reveals what is the crux of the problem for truck drivers – no real coalescing of representation among the almost 2 million big rig drivers on the roads today.
Membership in the Teamsters Union, traditionally one of the most powerful unions in the country, has declined dramatically since 1974 when there were more than 2 million trucker members.
Today, there are only about 75,000 members; which is hardly a statistical representation of the industry as a whole; and which is a number that cannot wield the same influence as the United Automobile Workers Union, for example.
Recent attempts to mobilize truck drivers center around a relatively new organization called "Black Smoke Matters;" which boasts some 15,000 Facebook members, but who could rally only a handful for a much-publicized strike in April of this year – not exactly a replay of the 1970 truckers strike.
Deregulation is the reason
Business Insider has determined that this decline in influence among one of the nation's largest group of workers goes back to the deregulation fever of the late 1970s. Reformers zeroed in on the trucking industry as being ripe for deregulation.
Back then, some trucking routes, and thus the prices of the goods moved, were regulated, resulting in higher rates, and higher consumer prices, for freight hauled in the regulated routes.
Reformers figured that deregulation could save consumers as much as $8 billion ($25 billion in today's dollars) each year. So, The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 was passed and signed into law by President Carter.
Under regulation, truck drivers were better paid, and saw their salaries begin to decline soon after the deregulatory MCA was implemented.
With deregulation, the nation saw a surge of new trucking companies who had more control over their rates – and over driver salaries.
That was also the beginning of the end for the once-powerful Teamsters Union; which was never again able to mount a strike like the very successful one in 1970.
Today's truck drivers are not largely union-minded. They are independent-thinking even as company drivers, but especially as owner-operators or contractor drivers. One driver interviewed by Business Insider said it is just too difficult to get enough drivers together to participate in any kind of joint effort.
Basically, without union backing, striking truckers would be left on their own to take the financial brunt of not putting in the miles.
And that's the dilemma. Nationwide strikes require supportive union backing, but truck drivers for the most part are not union minded.
Rick Blatter, a spokesperson for the Canadian Truckers Association, summed up the situation to Business Insider.
"Truck strikes don't always work because organizing independent truckers is like organizing anarchists," he said. "It is very hard. But everything is possible. Eventually."
Sources: Business Insider,
Truck Driver Salary
Trucking Industry Concerns
Unions In Trucking