TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2019.02.09

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending February 9, 2019.

We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.


TDMST Weekly Round-Up

1. Regarding ELD usage:

  • A February 4, 2019, article addressed a study that examined “the effects of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate on commercial vehicle crash rates a year after the regulation went into effect”.”The main takeaway from the study was that while compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) regulations did increase, the commercial vehicle crash rate did not go down.”
  • A February 4, 2019, article written about the same study states, “Speeding violations… follow behavioral changes driven by ELD adoption as truckers try to make up for productivity losses.”
  • Another February 4, 2019, article stated, “The new academic study to determine the ELD mandate’s impact on safety in the trucking industry is exposing as false one of the central arguments made by advocates. … ‘ELDs will save lives.'”.That article further stated that while “small carriers … saw their HOS violation rates decline by more than 48% from their pre-ELD mandate levels … crashes among … ‘small carriers’ and owner operators actually ‘increased'”.
  • Another article about this stated, “According to the report, unsafe driving violations by owner-operators increased by as much as 33.3%, and speeding increased by as much as 31%”.
  • Yet another article stated, “The research lands just as FMCSA is prepping to propose a rule to potentially change hours of service regulations, which has been predicted to be published in the coming months”.
  • “The grassroots movement of truckers fighting to win relief from the electronic logging devices (ELD) mandate is gaining momentum after a flurry of recent events has stoked new anger and reignited hope”, stated a February 5, 2019, article.
  • Another February 5, 2019, article reported that “Rep. Collin Peterson will soon be reintroducing H.B. 5948 and H.B. 5939 in the House of Representatives”,
    • the former of which “would exempt small carriers — those who own or operate 10 or fewer trucks — from having to comply with ELD requirements”; and
    • the latter of which “would exempt truck drivers who are hauling agricultural products from ELD requirements.”
  • I hope there is a groundswell of support among all of our elected leaders regarding small carriers being exempt from the ELD mandate — and that any exemption that follows will lead to a resulting decline of truck crashes.

2. Regarding e-commerce:

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) issued a report regarding the impact of the growth of e-commerce on the trucking industry.

A February 6, 2019, article states, “The rise of e-commerce over the last 20 years has placed pressure on the trucking industry to adjust its operations and adapt to shrinking delivery windows and shorter hauls, according to the latest study from the American Transportation Research Institute.”.

Details from a similar article include:

  • e-commerce experienced a 3,000% increase between 1999 and 2017;
  • “‘Last Mile Fulfillment Centers’ represented 73% of the industrial real estate market in 2017, a 15-percentage-point increase from the previous year”; and
  • “Average trip lengths have decreased 37% since 2000, while urban vehicle miles traveled have increased for much of this time period.”

Yet another article states, “E-commerce growth by companies such as Amazon is increasing the likelihood that the number of long-haul truckers will continue to decline.”

In my opinion, this is another reason why the current “mileage-based pay” system in trucking needs to be replaced with a more equitable system that pays truckers for all of their time.

3. Regarding tolls:

“Virginia legislators are seemingly backpedaling on legislation that would have instituted tolls on I-81 through the state – at least for now”, stated a February 4, 2019, article.

Other articles about this are herehere, and here(a).

“Tolls ARE taxes”, stated a commentary on Land Line Magazine entitled, “Toll trolls, if you toll them, they won’t come”.

4. Regarding driving in icy conditions:

Several recent articles addressed driving and sliding in icy conditions:

  • A February 3, 2019, article stated, “Ohio transportation officials have released a truck driver’s dash cam video of a multi-vehicle crash to demonstrate how quickly vehicles can lose control on frozen bridges”;
  • an article with an embedded video shows how the sliding of a 4-wheel vehicle led to the jackknifing of a big rig; and
  • yet another video shows a big truck sliding sideways on an icy road.

5. Regarding confiscation and selling of personal property in vehicles:

Be aware of a bill introduced in Mississippi that if passed, “will allow towing companies in Mississippi with unpaid tow bills to sell the personal property inside the vehicle.”

6. Regarding trucker cams:

A January 30, 2019, article addressed “4 ways to [obtain a] better ROI with the Smart Dashcam”.

I particularly like Point #3: “Protect your company from false claims”.

7. Regarding the New York Governor’s threat:

James Lamb is president of the nationwide Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC).

He stated in a press briefing, “While the governor of New York obviously meant well with this [recent travel] ban, he did not realize [how] such a ban and restriction of movement places truckers in precarious situations and strands truckers in dangerous places that jeopardize their personal safety.”

Lamb also addressed other topics in his press briefing.

When you’re facing a travel ban, seek to park in both a safe and legal space as quickly as possible.

8. Regarding potential new trucking regulations:

  • I wonder what regulations may result within the trucking industry following “the National Transportation Safety Board’s 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements”, as are described in articles here and here.
  • Meanwhile, “A new bill proposed in the California Senate would require more stringent emissions testing before registering or operating them in the state”, states a February 7, 2019, article.According to another article about the California bill, “Unlike passenger vehicles, which require biennial smog checks in California, heavy-duty diesel trucks are not currently required to undergo regular emissions testing. That might change with the introduction of a bill in the state Senate.”

9. Regarding money in trucking:

  • prediction about what trucking fleet earnings will look like in 2019 says, “Recent data has shown some slowing of economic growth”.
  • Meanwhile, a February 1, 2019, article states, “The total cost of ground transportation for Canadian shippers decreased 1.54% in November, compared to the Canadian General Freight Index.”

10. Regarding safety and good procedures:

  • Another winter storm is expected in the “northern plains”, states a February 7, 2019, article.
  • It may take another few moments, but it wouldn’t hurt to take a look under your trailer just before you pull out of any parked location, just to make sure there isn’t someone under there.One pedestrian decided to take a “shortcut” under a trailer in a fuel island in Edison, New Jersey, and ended up getting run over by the truck, completely unbeknownst to the trucker.
  • Watch out for thieves who are favoring food cargo packed on trucks because “A single truckload of food or drinks may not have the dollar value of a load of smartphones or medicine, but it is still a favorite target because it’s easy to sell and much harder to trace.”

11. Congratulations to these truckers:

“Eight drivers have been selected as finalists for the National Tank Truck Carriers‘ Tank Truck Driver of the Year award”, states a February 6, 2019, article.

The article says, “One of the eight drivers will be named the Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year Grand Champion” at an upcoming event in Las Vegas.

Congratulations to all 8 truckers!

We look forward to learning who is named Grand Champion.


My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.

Return from TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2019.02.09 to our TDMST Weekly Round-Up Trucking Commentary or our Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips home page.


a. (no longer online)