News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
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
Trucking Truth's top stories for 2019
Last Updated: Wed, January 1, 2020
It's that time of year when the media pauses for reflection on the past year's events that became news stories.
Beginning in January 2019 Trucking Truth's owner and chief guru Brett Aguila made the commitment to have someone scour the trucking news universe on an almost daily basis in order to bring the latest news to Trucking Truth viewers.
That's why he welcomed me on board. I filed 141 articles in 2019; many more, actually, since the Friday Short Haul features three or more "mini" articles in one.
Not surprisingly, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration dominated the news that directly impacts commercial truck drivers. In fact, five of the 10 articles in this, albeit subjective, selection of the top stories on Trucking Truth in 2019, were the result of activity out of the offices of that regulatory agency.
In no particular order, then, here are the top 10 stories from the pages of Trucking Truth's News section for 2019.
FMCSA ELD compliance hard deadline
Tuesday, December 17, was the day that law enforcement ended any kind of reprieve for truckers found to be driving without a fully compliant electronic logging device … in other words, no more grandfather, no more exceptions.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association has been warning for a couple of years that the December 17 compliance deadline would begin the hard enforcement period. Any roadside inspection where a trucker could not show the use of an approved ELD would immediately put the driver out of service for failure to have a legal record of duty status.
Anecdotally, Trucking Truth forum participants reported noticing an increase in roadside and weigh station inspections that week.
Jury awards against truckers go nuclear
After a weeklong trial wrought with emotion that ended on August 23, a Muscogee County, Georgia, jury awarded more than a quarter of a billion dollars to the family of one of the women killed in a five-person fatal accident when a driver for Schnitzer Southeast crossed the centerline and hit the family's SUV head on.
The jury deliberated 45 minutes, then came up with an award of $150 million for the life of Judy Madere, $30 million for her pain and suffering, $100 million in punitive damages, and $65,000 in attorney fees; bringing the total to slightly over $280 million.
In this case, the fatal accident occurred when a tractor-trailer hauling scrap metal bins driven by Kenneth Cathey crossed into their lane and hit the family's SUV head on.
However, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear announced he is fed up with exorbitant lawsuits against trucking companies and their drivers, and has asked trucking industry leaders to join him in lobbying Congress for tort reform legislation.
He cited an example of 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.
FMCSA publishes new proposed HOS rules
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration finally published its long-anticipated notice of proposed rulemaking on changes to hours of service for commercial motor vehicle drivers.
Hanging fire mostly under review in the Office of Management and Budget the proposed rule changes were first announced to be published in June, and faced a longer wait time as the summer progressed. It was first considered by FMCSA in early 2018.
The important thing to note is that these are still proposed changes. The proposed rule must undergo a comment period before implementation and, if history repeats, must weather a blizzard of court challenges from highway safety advocates. And the new rules cannot be implemented and enforced until final approval by the Office of Management and Budget and the FMCSA.
Self-driving big rigs make their appearance on America's highways
Something that many of us thought we'd never see in our lifetimes became a fixture on America's highways in many locations – self-driving Class 8 big rigs.
A number of autonomous big rig innovators have earned certification to begin testing their self-driving rigs making regular runs, hauling real cargo. For example, TuSimple, a San Diego-based self-driving truck company, announced in May that the United States Postal Service will be a test bed for a first-ever, long-haul regular delivery route across state lines.
The global autonomous truck company, founded in 2015 and operating out of Tucson, Arizona, has contracted to run five round trips over a two-week period hauling trailers more than 1,000 miles between USPS's Phoenix, Arizona, and Dallas, Texas, distribution centers. A safety engineer and driver will be on board at all times during this pilot program to monitor the vehicle and to ensure public safety.
See additional news about self-driving big rigs here at Trucking Truth.
Largest carrier bankruptcy in American history
The announced bankruptcy and closing of Celadon Group, Inc., and the loss of jobs of 3,000 drivers and 1,000 technical staff shocked industry watchers across the United States.
But, from among the stories of driver abandonment and hardship resulting from the closing there emerged heart-warming human-interest stories of just what it means to be a part of the truck driver community, where drivers take care of each other.
Carriers and individuals stepped up to make sure that Celadon drivers would not be stranded far from home, and they were welcomed with open arms by other carriers, many of whom offered generous signing packages and other benefits.
FMCSA finalizes Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse mandate
Within the week, January 6, 2020, to be precise, the FMCSA mandate for compliance with the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse it has been working on for the past couple of years will go into effect.
The agency's Clearinghouse proposal did not come without some opposition, especially when it announced that state CDL agencies would be granted a two-year extension.
California "gig worker" law earns ire from truckers
As the dust settles on the recently passed new California independent contractor law motor carrier companies and independent drivers began scrambling to make sense of the law and to decide what to do about it.
The solution, for many, has been to mount lawsuits against the state.
FMCSA takes serious look at under-21 aged interstate drivers
After running a pilot program for the last 10 months allowing under-21-year-old drivers with military experience to drive big rigs interstate, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced in May it is seeking public comment on potentially opening up interstate highways to non-military drivers 18 through 20 years old as well.
As might be expected, comments received by FMCSA to the proposal ran the gamut from acceptance to abject horror at the thought of 18 year olds driving big rigs across state lines.
Freight comes to a standstill at border with Mexico
When the administration was forced to deal with the huge mass of illegal border crossers earlier in the year by increasing border crossing checks it had a huge impact on crossing times affecting commercial carriers.
That's because some 750 Customs and Border Protection officers who usually man the border crossings were deployed to help the Border Patrol with immigration duties to handle the thousands of migrants appearing at the United States/Mexico border, mostly from Central America.
There were long lines and waits of up to 12 hours at some crossings, an increase from an average of 35 to 50 minutes. The CBP, because they were short-staffed at these crossings, has exacerbated the problem by reducing the number of lanes available to trucks, and even closing during weekend days.
FMCSA conducts detention time study
Driver detention time came under the scrutiny of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and drivers and other interested parties were asked to submit comments regarding this important area of the truck freight-hauling industry.
Dubbed "Request for Information Concerning Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Detention Times During Loading and Unloading," FMCSA's survey on the amount of time that drivers spend at shippers and receivers is to determine if there is a correlation between excess detention time and highway safety.
The comments on this query are interesting and may be viewed at the Regulations.gov website.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Hours Of Service
Pre-Employment Screening Program
The Economy And Politics
Trucking Industry Concerns