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It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle. 7/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans 7/19/2019 Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire 7/17/2019 Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills 7/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status 7/12/2019 ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant 7/10/2019 New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters 7/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week 7/5/2019 Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July 7/3/2019 Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks? 7/1/2019 Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks 6/28/2019 Experts warn of active wildland fire season 6/26/2019 More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking 6/24/2019 Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award 6/21/2019 Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs 6/19/2019 Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers 6/17/2019 Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo 6/14/2019 HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers 6/12/2019 FMCSA takes a further look at detention time 6/10/2019 Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest 6/7/2019 Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week 6/5/2019 Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo 6/3/2019 Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments 5/31/2019 Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration 5/29/2019 Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts 5/25/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles 5/24/2019 Autonomous trucks on USPS test run 5/22/2019 Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules 5/20/2019 Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC 5/17/2019 Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA 5/15/2019 Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins 5/13/2019 Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole 5/10/2019 Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South 5/8/2019 Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets 5/6/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers 5/3/2019 'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states 5/1/2019 Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers 4/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business 4/26/2019 ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for 4/24/2019 Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks 4/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings 4/19/2019 Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels 4/17/2019 Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business 4/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise 4/12/2019 Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need 4/10/2019 Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border 4/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules 4/5/2019 Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates 4/3/2019 Don't get scammed by skimmers 4/1/2019 Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking 3/29/2019 Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers 3/27/2019 Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy 3/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap 3/22/2019 Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising 3/20/2019 FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website 3/18/2019 Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award 3/15/2019 The hidden danger of looking but not seeing 3/13/2019 Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout 3/11/2019 3/9/2019 3/9/2019 Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire 3/8/2019 Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases 3/6/2019 Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness 3/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports 3/1/2019 New tax changes hit drivers hard 2/27/2019 FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military 2/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use 2/22/2019 Congress committee looks at state of America's highways 2/20/2019 Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same 2/18/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks 2/15/2019 Detention - A problem still in search of a solution 2/13/2019 February Highway Angels honorees named 2/11/2019 Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets 2/8/2019 Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage? 2/6/2019 Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage 2/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team 2/1/2019 Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 1/30/2019 California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards 1/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers 1/25/2019 LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30 1/23/2019 2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry 1/21/2019 Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018 3/28/2018 TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award 3/7/2018 TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year 2/28/2018 Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers 2/26/2018 New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018 1/11/2018 Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup 12/21/2017 Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks 12/12/2017 Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017 12/8/2017 Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way 8/10/2017 Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road 7/18/2017 Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach 7/13/2017 Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal 7/6/2017 Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice 6/29/2017 The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers 6/15/2017 The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017 6/8/2017 We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better 5/30/2017 Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon 5/25/2017 11/30/-0001

Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business

Dave Wickenhauser on Fri, April 26, 2019

Last Updated: Thu, April 25, 2019

Trucking companies urged to begin thinking about going electric

One topic that got attendees' attention at the recent Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach was the idea that regional trucking companies need to begin looking at electric trucks.

“If you don’t look toward the future, all of a sudden, your business goes away,” said Amanda Phillips, general manager of OEM sales at Meritor, as reported in Transport Topics.

Industry experts suggest that entry into electric vehicle freight hauling is easier for regional freight companies because the current limited range of electric vehicles wouldn't be as much of an issue.

It was discussed that small fleets and independent owner-operators are reluctant to embrace this new zero-emission technology. But it is believed they will come along as the technology develops.

Truck manufacturing giant Daimler Trucks North America, maker of Freightliner trucks, is a forerunner in the zero-emissions technology with its hydrogen-powered and electric trucks. It has more than 30 trucking firms participating in its advisory council exploring electric trucks.

“We have a ton of interest throughout our regions,” Greg Treinen, a sales and marketing manager at Daimler Trucks North America told Transport Topics. “They’ve already done a lot of the homework and want to get the ball rolling.”

Penske opens electric charging stations in Southern California

Penske Truck Leasing, which has light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty commercial electric trucks in its fleet, has opened 14 high-speed charging stations in four locations in Southern California.

Penske expects to add six more stations in the near future. The company believes these are the first DC fast charging stations in the United States designed specifically for heavy-duty commercial electric vehicles.

Daimler Trucks North America had its class 8 Freightliner eCascadia on hand at Penske's La Mirada facility Wednesday to charge up for a demonstration during a ribbon-cutting as part of the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo.

The chargers are installed in Penske leasing facilities in San Diego, Chino, Anaheim and La Mirada. The facilities offer 50-kW to 150-kW chargers which connect directly to the truck's battery charging system. And Penske claims that an all-electric class 8 truck can be recharged from zero to fully recharged in less than a half a shift.

Border crossing crisis may soon impact fruit and produce prices

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 43 percent of all fruit and vegetables consumed in America comes from Mexico. And, normally the process of getting quality produce from Mexican farms to America's tables in a timely manner is a smoothly oiled machine.

But the ongoing delays at the border crossings with Mexico are throwing a monkey wrench into the gears of the machine, throttling the supply of produce coming across; and, because of the delays, much of the produce is riper than stores and consumers are accustomed to.

Industry watchers say that these issues may cause Americans to see higher prices for fruits and vegetables.

One distributor, Amore Produce, located just 20 miles from the border, told Fox News they have less produce than normal and they cannot make their usual deliveries of fresh produce to the 10 states they deliver to like Florida, Maryland, New York, New Jersey and Colorado.

Another distributor, Marabella Produce, said they have to throw out produce that they do get because by the time it would make it to the grocery store shelves it would be spoiled.

Marabella owner Alejandro Knight told Fox News that Mexican growers are holding back produce until the border crossing situation eases.

Salavador Contreras, an economist with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, said, "It's going to be felt at the grocery stores when we start paying more for limes and our avocados at the grocery store.”

He added that the U.S. economy is affected by reducing the number of border agents and reducing the number of lanes open to cross. “It’s been estimated that staffing one to three additional booths increases U.S. GDP by $2 million and adds roughly 33 additional jobs,” Contreras told Fox News.

“So, trade flows are very important for the U.S. economy. They have a big impact on the U.S. economy. And if we reduce the number of agents at customs and increase the wait times, then that would have the opposite effect of reducing U.S. GDP and then reducing U.S. jobs.”

Rail carriers taking advantage of truck driver shortage

The truck driver shortage, which has caused carriers to increase driver salaries, fight capacity woes, and which has resulted in increasing freight rates, has boosted the bottom line for their competition in the rail freight industry.

Loadstar reported recently that the biggest rail operators are struggling to increase their intermodal volumes, but they had been gaining by acquiring freight business that had normally been assigned to trucking companies.

In the Loadstar article, chief executive of CSX James Foote told investors that “every day” the carrier was winning new business from the trucking sector.

“In the past, they may have given 60 percent of volumes to rail and 40 percent to road, because they didn’t trust the reliability of the railroad to get their products across to market," Foote said.

Some industry watchers attribute rail's success at taking business from the truck industry to the newly enforced mandate for all drivers to use electronic logging devices; which has impacted costs and contributed to less carrier production.

They recognize that in the past shippers would look to rail service because of circumstances like weather, changes in the economy, fuel prices, strikes and the ups and downs of a driver shortage. But patterns would cycle back and forth, with shippers often returning to the truck carriers.

However, they say now that because of the ELD mandate that cycling might end and many shippers may not end their conversion to rail and return to truck shipping.

In a recent report, the FMCSA noted that ELDs have been successful in improving truck driver compliance with hours of service, but the downside for carriers has been a decrease in trucking capacity. So the era of trucking to rail and back to trucking again might be over as trucking companies are unable to compete with rail freight rates and capacity.

"This is the first time we've gone through a cycle where we've had ELDs in place, meaning everyone has to follow the hours of service rules, so we're seeing what happens when there's just not enough capacity to meet all the demand," Jim Filter, senior vice president and general manager of intermodal for Schneider told Supply Chain Dive. "I don't think carriers will be able to drop their rates as they did in the past, so we won't see those big swings where rates crashed and we converted back to over the road."

Schneider reported a 3-percent to 6-percent decrease in productivity when the carrier began using ELDs in 2010.

So the rail services are taking up the slack, and it just might not return back to truck services.

Sources: Transport Topics, PRNewswire, Fox News, The Load Star, Supply Chain Dive

Tagged Under:

Electric Semi Electronic Logbooks Hours Of Service Regional Jobs Schneider National Truckers Technology Trucking Industry Concerns

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