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
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
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Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon
Friday Short Haul - Tennessee carrier quits, signs a carrier is going down, retaining drivers
Last Updated: Thu, February 13, 2020
Tennessee's Howard Baer Inc. ceases operations
Government regulations, lack of qualified drivers and rising insurance costs combined to take down another small carrier.
Howard Baer Inc, of Nashville, Tennessee, is a family-owned operation that has been hauling freight since 1951. The carrier's owner Greg Baer is retiring, and his son has decided he didn't want to keep the business going.
Baer told FreightWaves that rapid attrition has depleted his driver force from a high of 200 drivers in April 2018 down to around 35 drivers by the time Baer announce at the end of January that he was closing down.
“Trucking just isn’t worth it anymore,” Baer said in a FreightWaves interview. “The government has piled on so many regulations on these drivers that most young people don’t want to become truck drivers.”
The electronic logging device mandate was the reason Baer lost his best drivers, he said. But he added that lawsuits and the rising insurance costs also was a factor in his decision.
A Missouri-based company, Hogan Transport, is leasing Baer's building in Nashville, and most of Baer's remaining drivers have hired on with that carrier.
Baer emphasized that he is not shutting down because of being broke. It's just that lack of government regulations, lack of drivers, and insurance costs make it "just not worth running anymore," he told Freightwaves.
Signs your carrier might be on the verge of closing
There have been many closings of some big-name carriers lately, but there are also hundreds of smaller carriers that have quietly gone out of business in the past few years.
Notable closings include Celadon, Falcon Transport, HVH Transportation, and NEMF. Reasons for the closings range from losing major contracts, to increasing government regulations, to rising insurance costs, and to lawsuits often reaching into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
As a result of these closings thousands of drivers find themselves without a steering wheel to sit behind. Many might have been caught unaware by a sudden closure, but the astute ones will have been discerning the signs of a struggling company and will have been taking measures to make the move to another carrier.
CDL Life has compiled a list of some of the telltale signs that a carrier is struggling, but trying to keep that news secret for as long as possible before the axe falls. – Credit CDL Life
- Your fuel card doesn’t work. One of the biggest red flags for many drivers that there’s a major problem within their company is difficulty in fueling. Sometimes fuel card failures can be traced to computer issues, but getting stuck at the pump could also be a warning sign that your company is going under.
- Your paychecks don’t cash. This often signals a cash flow issue that points to deeper problems within the company.
- The company makes major C-Suite changes. If your company makes unexpected changes at the CEO, CFO, or other executive positions, it could be a sign that there’s trouble. Celadon, for example, made numerous changes at the executive level to try to right the ship in the years before they went under.
- The company cuts or freezes pay or other employee perks. Many drivers at failing companies report that their pay or other benefits were cut in the lead up to the company closure.
- Good drivers leave. Turnover is always high in the trucking industry, but if you notice that skilled, safe drivers within your company are leaving for other opportunities, this might be a sign that things are going downhill.
- You can’t get a load. If you find yourself spending a lot of time sitting and waiting for a load, this could mean that there’s something seriously wrong at your company.
- The company files for bankruptcy. Many trucking companies will tell workers that filing for bankruptcy protection is just a way for them to restructure and keep going with business as usual. However, it is often the case that they are unable to bounce back after filing bankruptcy — Cold Carriers Logistics, for example, filed Chapter 11 in September 2019 only to shutter permanently in February 2020.
How carriers can attract and retain truck drivers
According to Fleet Owner there were almost 8 million people employed in the trucking field in 2018, but they maintain that there will still be a need to fill 160,000 driver slots over the next decade.
Bill Thomas, vice president and employee benefits specialist at insurer Woodruff Sawyer, told Fleet Owner that there are five modern and creative ways for carriers to attract and retain driving talent.
Women on top of the list of recruit targets
Currently only about 8 percent of long-haul drivers are female and, as such, offer a large pool to attract recruiting activity.
Women in Trucking Association, for example, notes that there's been a 19 percent improvement in the numbers of companies that are tracking female drivers and managers.
Besides recruiting from the female sector carriers are trying to entice drivers from the younger generation and from military veterans. FMCSA is actively investigating lowering the legal age to drive commercial vehicles interstate in order to open up that available recruiting pool.
Carriers are modernizing the recruiting process
Many carriers have discovered and are making use of social media to attract a new generation of driver prospects. Plus, programs are being implemented to collaborate with trucking schools to sponsor CDL training for potential new recruits.
It's all about money
Sawyer says that many freight companies are now offering such enticing pay benefits as yearly pay increases, weekend driving pay increases, performance bonuses and much more.
Guaranteed pay is slowly catching on, and signing bonuses continue to be a popular recruitment tool.
Truck driving aint what it used to be
Ergonomic cabs, automatic transmissions, electronic safety features and other telematics are becoming widely implemented in the new rigs, and are thought to be enticing benefits to recruit the new generation of prospective drivers.
Companies are also placing greater emphasis on job satisfaction that come with mentorships, customized driving programs, being more family friendly, and following up with new hires for up to six months.
What benefits drivers benefits the carriers
Driver retention is always a concern for trucking companies. Figures for 2019 put the average turnover rate for medium to large carriers at about 83 percent. That's a huge concern that companies outside of the truck freight universe don't have to deal with.
So companies are stepping up to structure retirement and health plans tailored to retain their best and most-experienced drivers.
According to Sawyer, one factor that tends to drive older, experienced drivers away from a carrier is if that company employs an "age banded" structure for determining health plan premiums – older drivers pay more, sometimes three times as much, for their health plan than do the younger drivers. This happens particularly among the smaller carriers.
As drivers get up in years they might begin looking around at a larger carrier that can offer a better rate for them.
Sawyer concludes by saying, "If the trucking industry is going to meet the market demands placed upon it now and in the future, it will have to address the driver shortage issue. Business as usual will not be enough."
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