News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
Authors: 'Legacy' carriers ignore autonomous technology at their peril
COVID-19 scare: State gun laws come under scrutiny
Friday Short Haul - Inspection blitz postponed, COVID-19 webinar, FHA urges states to keep rest areas open, fewer cars means faster truck deliveries
DOT and FMCSA issue COVID-19 responses
Starsky Robotics calls it quits
Friday Short Haul - Weigh station parking, rest areas reopen, HOS waiver expanded, freight prices increase
Truck drivers mostly exempt from coronavirus lock downs
HOS rules relaxed for COVID-19 relief effort
Friday Short Haul - Western Express recovers from Tennessee tornado, driver involved in two accidents six minutes apart, another carrier quits
Daimler's electric vehicles and autonomous trucks continue real-world testing
Predictive technology increases driver safety, benefits carriers
Friday Short Haul -- Coffee drinking drivers, Amazon coronavirus email, FMCSA safety summit
AIRman introduces no-crank technology to landing gears
Roadmaster shows how to reduce driver turnover
Friday Short Haul - CBD users beware, 8,000 violations revealed in Clearinghouse, laptop theft lands Alabama trucker in prison
Canada company offers easy access to spare trailers
Roadcheck could result in temporarily higher freight rates
Friday Short Haul - Self-driving yard trucks, Knight-Swift partners with Truckstop.com, Security guard shoots driver
Training providers offer a diversity of options
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
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Senate Transportation Committee gets an earful from trucking execs
Last Updated: Sun, February 9, 2020
The United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety invited testimony from trucking representatives on February 4 to allow them to sound off with their opinions on the U.S. trucking industry … and committee members got an earful.
Executives from two of the largest organizations representing truckers gave detailed testimony, sometimes being diametrically opposite in their views.
American Trucking Associations CEO Chris Spear took a more moderate stance, while Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association Executive Lewie Pugh often gave a blunt appraisal of the job that Congress is doing in regulating trucking.
ATA's Spear reminded committee members that a "growing addiction" by passenger vehicle drivers to speeding and driving while distracted by texting has likely led to the fact that in 72 percent of accidents involving big rigs it's the other driver who is at fault.
The ATA opposes the Federal Communication Commission's proposed rule that would reduce the safety spectrum for transportation purposes, and asks the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare a rule allowing for hair testing for drugs.
OOIDA's Pugh took a stronger stance in calling on the committee to pull back on some proposals that he called meaningless, including speed limiters, mandated front and side underride guards, and increased insurance premiums.
Pugh said that OOIDA does not support the DRIVE-Safe Act that allows drivers under the age of 21 to engage in interstate commerce. ATA supports that measure.
Pugh's reasoning in opposing opening up interstate commerce to under-21 drivers revolves around a rejection of the idea that the nation suffers a driver shortage.
“Contrary to what other associations repeat, constantly, there is no driver shortage." Pugh said in his testimony. "The notion of a driver shortage isn’t supported by facts, data, or reputable research. In other words, it’s a myth. We oppose this bill because it’s a solution in search of a problem, and we urge Congress to reject it.”
He continued: “I would agree that I learned the skills on how to operate a truck and maneuver a truck very well in the United States Army, and I’m very thankful for that. But I think there’s still more training that needs to be issued. Because driving a truck in military life … is much, much different than in civilian life. You’re usually in convoy. You usually had people overseeing where you were going. You had designated routes, and you weren’t just turned loose.
"When I turned 21 and went to work as an over-the-road trucker, I was just turned loose. Again, I was fortunate to be trained with the skill, but as far as the knowledge and the real-world knowledge of what’s out there … I was lucky. I didn’t have any accidents or anything happen, but that real-world knowledge would have been nice to have had a little more training on before I was just turned loose.”
Spear countered that since 48 states allow an under-21 driver to haul freight in a big rig within state lines the reasoning for not allowing that driver to cross a state line fails when one considers that an under-21 driver can haul freight 850 miles the length of California, but is prohibited from hauling a load 10 miles from Providence, Rhode Island, to Rehoboth, Massachusetts, because a state line must be crossed.
The DRIVE-Safe Act, according to Spear, requires young drivers to undergo a 400-hour apprenticeship period, and training in safety technology. Currently, 48 states do not require this additional experience and training to receive their intrastate CDLs.
Pugh, in his blunt message, continued: “It’s time to listen to the hard-working men and women that drive for a living. If you ask most drivers what Congress has done recently to improve the profession, the answer is ‘nothing.’”
He declared that the ELD mandate has failed, and called on Congress to repeal that rule.
"Today’s truckers are subject to more regulations and greater enforcement than ever before, and while compliance with those regulations has never been higher, crash rates are still moving in the wrong direction. A prime example of this problem is the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate," he stated in his written testimony.
"This massively expensive rulemaking, disguised as a silver bullet to improve safety, has driven many experienced truckers out of the industry. The roughly $2 billion in costs associated with the mandate have imposed financial and compliance burdens on American businesses of all sizes, especially small carriers who are forced to spend their resources on installation compliance, and service fees for equipment that has not shown any proven safety benefit.
"We urge the Committee to repeal the ELD rulemaking or consider commonsense legislation that would exempt small-business carriers and drivers who have exhibited a proven history of safety."
He also said Congress should repeal the provisions that exempt truck drivers from receiving overtime pay. In general, Pugh encouraged committee members to "abandon meaningless, unproven and unsafe proposals."
Some Pugh quotes from his written testimony:
“From the perspective of small-business motor carriers and professional drivers, the state of the trucking industry is dysfunctional. This is because too many people who know virtually nothing about trucking have an oversized role in shaping trucking policy. Drivers feel the negative effects of this firsthand, myself included.”
“The hours-of-service rules are broken. There are hundreds of regulations that have nothing to do with highway safety. The lack of available truck parking is a national crisis. Enforcement is often motivated by profit. And drivers work extremely long hours with notoriously low pay.”
In summary, Pugh recommended that members of Congress:
- Repeal the failed electronic logging device mandate.
- Repeal the overtime exemption for drivers in the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Provide dedicated funding for new truck parking capacity.
- Create a fair process for drivers to appeal inspection violations written in error.
- Fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure in an equitable way.
- Do not mandate speed limiters.
- Do not mandate front and side underride guards.
- Do not mandate higher insurance minimums.
- Do not enact a truck-only vehicle miles traveled tax or expand tolling authority.
- Do not pass the DRIVE-Safe Act.
Where Spear and Pugh found commonality was in the areas of infrastructure improvement, and increasing truck parking capacity.
Spear pointed out that trucking loses about $70 billion each year while drivers have to sit and idle in traffic delays; which is the equivalent of 425,000 drivers idling for a year.
Not only is this a financial issue, all that idling results in 67 million tons of CO2 being emitted, he said.
Spear said ATA supports the Build America Fund that proposes levying a fee of 20 cents per gallon of fuel, with an estimate of $340 billion being raised in the first 10 years. He added that hybrid and electric cars should also pay some fee to contribute to the fund because they use the roads, but do not pay fuel taxes.
Others speaking before the committee included David Heller, Vice President of the Truckload Carriers Association; Dawn King, President of the Truck Safety Coalition; Jake Parnell, Manager of the Cattleman's Livestock Market; and Sgt. John Samis of the Delaware State Police and President of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.
Sources: Hearing Webcast,
Spear's written testimony,
Pugh's written testimony,
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