TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2019.05.18

This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending May 18, 2019.

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


TDMST Weekly Round-Up

1. Regarding CVSA’s International Roadcheck 2019:

Numerous articles have been written about what to expect and how to prepare for the annual International Roadcheck event to be conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) on June 4-6, 2019.

This is a big deal because vehicles that are inspected and found to be out-of-compliance can be placed out of service (OOS) — and fines can be stiff.

CVSA’s 2019 emphasis will be on steering components and suspension systems.

Read more in articles herehere, here(a) and here.

During the 2018 event, nearly 12,000 vehicles were placed out of service and “The top three out-of-service violations for trucks were for brake systems (28.4 percent), tires and wheels (19.1 percent) and brake adjustment (16.3 percent).”

I found it interesting that one of the options in a poll about preparing for Roadcheck is “Planned vacation for the June 4-6 period”.

Of course, taking vacation during that week may keep one’s truck from being inspected, but won’t make one’s truck any safer to drive.

We have learned that Love’s Truck Tire Care and Speedco are offering “free TirePass inspections [and] half-priced DOT inspections” from May 27-June 6.

2. Regarding cargo theft:

Of the 144 cargo thefts that took place in the United States during the first quarter of 2019, SensiGuard reported that:

  • the average was worth “$116,717 per theft”; and
  • “California accounted for 25% of all cargo thefts” during that period.

This report was also covered here.

A May 16, 2019, article stated that there was a “19% decrease in volume [of cargo theft] in Q1 2019 vs. Q4 2018”.

3. Regarding YRC and Teamsters 5-year labor agreement:

A 5-year labor agreement was recently put in place by YRC Worldwide Inc. on behalf of their employees.

A May 15, 2019, article and a May 16, 2019, article stated that among the highlights of the agreement was “Prohibitions against using driverless trucks.”

Read more about the agreement here.(b)

4. Regarding trucking conditions:

“Trucking conditions” fluctuate continually and here is what has been going on:

  • A May 15, 2019, article stated, “FTR’s monthly Trucking Conditions Index has fallen into negative territory, signaling a swift softening in the underlying market conditions for carriers since early fall 2018.”
  • A May 13, 2019, article stated, “Owner-operators’ miles were down 7.3% in the year’s first quarter, compared to the same period in 2018,” but that “net income averaged among all operators suffered little in that span”.

Other articled addressed “softening” or “negative” trucking conditions and how owner operators see a “cautionary economic outlook” for the rest of this year.

5. Regarding lack of truck parking:

A May 15, 2019, article opened with this:

A Cincinnati news station recently shared a report detailing how dangerous the lack of safe truck parking really is — both for truck drivers and for the public at large.

Although government studies have repeatedly shown the need for increased truck parking, a May 15, 2019, article stated that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is going to be holding “truck parking workshops” in 3 locations.(c)

The easy question is this: “When will they stop ‘studying’ the problem and start doing something about it?”

The answer is: No one wants a truck stop in his/her backyard.

So, why don’t officials make a way for truck stops to be built adjacent to existing industrial parks?

6. Regarding Nashville big rig crashes:

A May 14, 2019, article covered the report about “crashes involving tractor trailers… increasing in the Nashville area, with 700 more of these types of crashes occurring in 2018 than in 2014”:

  • “truck drivers were at fault in 53% of crashes”; and
  • “car drivers were to blame in 47% of crashes in the Nashville area.”

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the most common ways for drivers to cause crashes were:

  • car drivers: changing lanes improperly; and
  • truck drivers: following too closely.

Be aware and drive defensively.

7. Regarding visibility-related crashes:

Two articles this week reported accidents that were caused at least in part by motorists not being able to see well:

Be aware and do what is necessary to drive safely.

8. Regarding an anti-toll petition in Connecticut:

Several articles this week covered how Connecticut’s governor received an anti-toll petition signed by more than 100,000 people.

The petition reads in part:

We, the undersigned, demand that Governor Ned Lamont veto and the Connecticut General Assembly vote NO on any, and ALL, proposed legislation to implement TOLLS in the State of Connecticut.

The document listed a number of unwanted increases that would follow the implementation of a toll in that state.

Read more here(d), here(e) and here.

9. Regarding possibly extending Interstate 27 in Texas:

An effort to help “improve the movements of goods and services from Mexico into the western United States, and ultimately into Canada” is happening in Texas, according to a May 10, 2019, article.(e)

10. Regarding cargo securement and trailer connection:

Our condolences go to the families of two motorists who were killed due to the action (or inaction) of truckers.

  • One man was “killed after an unsecured piece of oil field equipment, being hauled on a flatbed semi-truck, struck his pickup truck” (link).If you’re hauling a flatbed, please remember to secure your load
    • before you leave and
    • also a little way down the road after your load has had a chance to “settle”.
  • Also, make sure that your trailers are connected completely before you drive off.One trucker’s trailer “became disconnected [from his tractor] while going across railroad tracks… and struck an oncoming vehicle”, the occupant sadly being “pronounced dead on the scene”.

11. Regarding autonomous trucks:

Starsky Robotics is totally in favor of “early adoption of Level 5 autonomous systems, moving freight without any human in the vehicle at all”, according to a May 16, 2019, article.

Theirs was the “Level 4 vehicle control systems [that was tested] on a [7-mile] stretch of the Selmon Expressway near Tampa, Florida [with no human in the vehicle].”

That article further stated, “Starsky Robotics has taken the position that human drivers will not be needed in vehicles equipped with its technology”.

A May 13, 2019, article reported that live stream viewers’ reactions about the “autonomous truck test” were mixed.

12. Regarding the FMCSA being sued:

The 15,000-member Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) filed a lawsuit against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), stating that the agency is “‘intentionally discriminating’ against it and is in violation of federal law for its handling of two recently submitted rules exemption applications.”

The article addressed the need to regulate the regulators.

13. Regarding biodiesel as fuel

A May 10, 2019, article answered questions about biodiesel.

If you use biodiesel as a truck fuel, please write and submit a product review through our site.


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

Remember that Memorial Day weekend is coming up soon.

Return from TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2019.05.18 to our TDMST Weekly Round-Up Trucking Commentary or our Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips home page.



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