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
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The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017
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Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon
Loses appeal: Walmart ordered to pony up $54 million to drivers
Last Updated: Tue, January 7, 2020
In a decision on January 6 that could have far-reaching consequences for every carrier operating in California, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling granting Walmart's California drivers lost wages for time spent on their 10-hour layover break while they were responsible for their trucks.
Specifically, the appeals court agreed with the lower court's ruling granting Walmart drivers $54.6 million in lost wages; which includes $44.7 million for layovers, $4 million for rest breaks, $3 million for conducting pre-trip inspections, and $3 for post-trip inspections.
The lower court also granted $5.86 million in restitution and $300,000 to compensate class representatives.
The lawsuit began a decade ago in an Alameda County, California, Superior Court, and was originally brought by four Walmart drivers.
After a delay because of waiting for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a related issue, the lawsuit was moved to federal court. But in the intervening time two of the plaintiffs had died, one had lost interest in pursuing the case, and the remaining class member's attorney had doubts about that driver being able to adequately represent the class.
Plaintiff's attorney then demanded that Walmart "turn over information about potential class members so that counsel could determine the identity of new plaintiffs and class representatives," according to court documents.
A new class was certified, and the Federal District Court trial began in 2016.
The main pillar of Walmart's defensive argument is that the company does not control its drivers during their 10-hour layover, thus should not be required to compensate them.
Sounding like a Catch-22 proposition, Walmart claimed that drivers need not take their layover in the truck, and they may ask for permission to sleep anywhere other than in their cab. However, drivers said that they rarely were able to receive that permission, especially if they were hauling a high-value load.
Walmart does offer a $42 "inconvenience fee," to drivers who are required to sleep in their cab during their layover. The court invoked California law regarding compensation for drivers spending their layovers with their trucks, and ruled that Walmart exercised control over employees during the mandated layovers, so drivers deserved compensation.
"In California, an employer must pay minimum wages whenever it controls the employee,” the appeals court stated. “And there is no reason to think that, as a matter of law, an employer cannot exercise control of a trucker even when the driver is taking a legally-mandated break.”
According to appellate court documents, “These provisions make no mention of the $42 inconvenience fee and instead require drivers to seek preapproval before choosing to take a break at home.”
“Thus, when read comprehensively and in context, Walmart’s written policy clearly prohibits drivers from taking a layover at home unless they receive prior approval. Walmart’s argument to the contrary lacks textual support.”
The court went on to say that drivers' liberty and freedom of movement was controlled by Walmart in that Walmart policy states drivers cannot take their 10-hour break at home without preapproval, and that drivers are free to leave their trucks during breaks to engage in personal activities, but they cannot go home.
Walmart's appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was heard by Circuit Judges Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, Eugene E. Siler, and Jacqueline H. Nguyen.
Judge Siler wrote the opinion, and Judge O'Scannlain wrote a partial concurrence and a partial dissent.
In his opinion affirming the lower court's ruling Judge Siler stated:
Long-haul truckers perform a vital service in the nation’s economy. No wonder then, that Wal-Mart, among the world’s largest retail companies, employs hundreds of truck drivers. Still, over a decade ago, drivers in California felt that Wal-Mart did not pay them properly in accordance with California law. So they sued in a class action. After a sixteen-day trial, the jury agreed with Wal-Mart on most issues. On some claims, however, the jury sided with the class of truckers and awarded tens of millions of dollars in damages.
Now, Wal-Mart asks this panel to erase that judgment. Wal-Mart contends that the district court erred at every step along the way—in concluding that it had jurisdiction, in certifying a class, in interpreting California minimum wage law, in allowing expert testimony, and in providing jury instructions.
But it is improper for this court to play armchair district judge. In the end, while Wal-Mart makes some compelling points, Wal-Mart raises no reversible error. Additionally, the district court properly concluded that liquidated damages are not owed under California law because Wal-Mart demonstrated that it acted in good faith and with a reasonable belief in the legality of its conduct. Accordingly, we AFFIRM.
FMCSA's Clearinghouse website overloaded
The FMCSA's Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse has been timing out from an overload since the January 6 deadline for its use went into effect. Employers have been having difficulty logging in, and are not being allowed to purchase query plans.
Because of this difficulty, the FMCSA is telling employers they may revert to former pre-employment procedures that comply with 49 CFR 391.23(e) rules.
However, employers are cautioned that despite the website Clearinghouse being intermittently unavailable, and that they may do their pre-employment screening the pre-Clearinghouse way, once the website is operational again they must input those post January 6 newhires into the Clearinghouse.
Sources: Land Line,
9th Circuit Ruling,
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Pre-Employment Screening Program
Truck Driver Salary
Trucking Industry Concerns