This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending June 20, 2020.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding proposed mandatory insurance increase:
Among the biggest pieces of news this week was an amendment to the highway bill that would make it mandatory for truckers to have $2 million in insurance.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) opposed this and it was said that small trucking companies might not be able to stay in business with such a requirement.
This amendment to the INVEST in America Act was passed by the U.S. House
Articles that covered this news included:
- Amendment Passed To Double Mandatory Insurance Minimums for Truckers To $2 Million
- Highway bill’s insurance amendment stops OOIDA’s support
- House lawmakers vote to raise mandatory insurance coverage to $2 million
- House votes to up trucker insurance requirements to $2 MILLION
- OOIDA opposes insurance minimum ‘poison pill’ highway bill amendment
- OOIDA tells T&I Committee it no longer supports highway bill
- Small Trucking Companies May Not Survive If Bill Passes
- Truck stops join owner-operators in rejecting Dems’ highway bill
- Trucking Groups Brace for Battle Among Members Over Raising Insurance Minimum
Quoting Todd Spencer, President and CEO of OOIDA, on this:
This amendment will do absolutely nothing to improve safety on our highways. What this proposal will do is destroy small trucking businesses in every corner of the country. …
Small business truckers have been working around the clock to keep the country healthy, while risking their personal well-being and struggling to stay in business due to historically low freight rates caused by COVID-19. Unnecessarily increasing their insurance rates is not the way to thank them.
If you feel strongly about this mandatory insurance increase from $750,000 to $2 million, please contact your U.S. House member and U.S. Senators immediately!
2. Regarding protection from police and guns:
Over the last month, there have been various protests (news of which I’ll cover below).
Here, I want to consolidate some articles that address various aspects of police presence in various places.
- Majority of Overdrive readers signal favor of police reform
- Minneapolis Leaders Vote to Dismantle Police Department… Will Truckers Still Go?
- Truck Drivers Say They Won’t Deliver To Cities with Defunded Police Departments
- These 8 cities are slashing funding for police departments — and these 4 are increasing it
- Truckers – These Are the Most Dangerous Cities
These articles address trucker self-defense:
- Protests ignite push to link CDL with concealed carry license
- Truck Drivers’ Gun Rights By State 2020
3. Regarding protests that affect truckers:
These articles address protests that have taken place — or were planned — and some of the ramifications of them.
- ALERT: BLM Protesters Planning to Shut Down Highways Across America on Juneteenth
- Nationwide Juneteenth Protests Planned – Group Calls For Protesters to ‘Blockade a Highway’
- Protesters Block Interstate in Atlanta After Police Involved Shooting Death of African American
- Protesters Shut Down Bay Bridge in San Francisco for Hours, 29 People Arrested
- Rioter Arrested After Caught on Video Pulling Trucker Out of Big Rig and Setting it on Fire
These articles address the problem of one trucker threatening protesters:
- Trucker Arrested for Video Threatening to Kill Black Lives Matter Protesters
- Truck Driver Arrested After Posting Video Threatening to Kill Protesters
Self-defense is one thing.
Seeking to deliberately harm other people is wrong.
As hard as it may be right now, we need to love one another.
4. Regarding paycheck protection and trucker pay:
As I wrote in my April 4, 2020, TDMST Weekly Round-Up regarding small business loans to keep businesses afloat in the days following the government-imposed shutdowns:
It may be overly pessimistic of me, but until all possibility is eradicated that the government can push another shutdown upon the people, you have no guarantee that you will be able to pay back the loan according to the terms outlined (whatever those terms may be).
As much as I disagree with the “Paycheck Protection Program” (PPP), here are articles that may be of use to you:
- Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act extends terms
- PPP debuts ‘easy’ form for program that remains complicated for some: “The latest version of changes in the Paycheck Protection Program spells out in greater specificity just how much employee compensation paid for by the loans is eligible to be forgiven under the plan designed to keep people working or at least getting paid.”
- SBA to release data on who got federal PPP loans: “The SBA announced late Friday night that it will disclose the identities of all borrowers who received $150,000 or more from PPP. The agency did not say when the information would be available.”
- Struggling Trucking Companies May Not Survive Once PPP Runs Out, Says Analyst
In Earl Nightingale’s “The Strangest Secret,” he said:
Our rewards in life will always be in exact proportion to our contribution, our service.
That’s why having a back-up plan — like having a Second Income for Truckers — can help.
These articles address different aspects of truckers being paid and trucking business survival:
- 1/3 B.C. trucking companies are worried about business survival
- Who is driving freight rates in 2020?
- Changing how payments are sent and received in the transportation industry (with video)
- 7 Highest Paying Trucking Jobs In 2020
5. Regarding truck operations:
First, for owner-operators with older trucks, this article may help you evaluate your situation:
To keep or not to keep: What to consider when engine problems arise.
The following two articles have to do with high temps in the summer:
- 5 ways to cheat the heat with Summer’s arrival
- The impact of high temperatures on diesel exhaust fluid
6. Regarding AB5:
Here’s the latest: California’s owner-operator law on hold until late 2020.
7. Regarding autonomous vehicles:
Even with the amount of freight being lower right now, the push for autonomous or self-driving trucks has not abated.
Here are some of the most recent articles:
- DOT gives $4.4 million for self-driving truck project on I-70
- Feds award $4.4 million for truck automation in Ohio and Indiana
- I-70 Truck Automation Corridor Gets Federal Grant
- Tennessee DOT awarded $11.2 Million INFRA grant to partially fund ‘I-40 Smart Fiber’ project
- INFRA Grant provides $11.2 million to fund Tennessee DOT ‘Smart Fiber Project’ on I-40
- USDOT awards $4.4 million to Indiana, Ohio for I-70 truck automation corridor project
- USDOT Awards $4.4 MILLION to Ohio DOT for I-70 Autonomous Truck Corridor Project
- USDOT Initiative Promotes “Safety” of Autonomous Vehicles to the Motoring Public
If you feel strongly about these situations, please contact your elected officials!
8. Regarding brokers:
- DOJ Investigation Into Freight Brokers “Making Progress,” Likely Probing “Biggest Players”
- Former owner-operator responds to Robert Voltmann’s departure
- Is FMCSA Coordinating With Brokers in Battle Over Freight Rate Transparency?
9. Regarding COVID-19 and trucker health:
Are you tired of hearing about coronavirus (COVID-19)?
I know that I am.
However, articles are still being published about it, the most recent being:
- 3 Ways COVID-19 May Change the Trucking Industry in the Long Haul
- 5 Things Trucking Fleets Need to Know About COVID-19 and Workers’ Comp
- COVID-19 pandemic leaves mark on May commercial-vehicle market with ‘tepid’ activity, ACT says
- Heeding the call: Truck drivers re-emerge as ‘Knights of the Highway’ in response to COVID-19 pandemic
- Survey reveals more than 70% of drivers worry about bringing COVID-19 home to family
- Survey: Truckers fear bringing COVID-19 home to loved ones
Those things being said, here’s my take on truckers staying well and healthy:
Year-round, Mike and I strongly urge each professional truck driver to do the following to help stay well and healthy:
- eat healthy food that nourishes your body;
- drink pure water;
- consume the vitamins, minerals and supplements that your body needs;
- get sufficient sleep;
- engage in appropriate health and wellness.
My husband Mike and I take supplements specifically to help boost our immune systems and keep them boosted.
If you would like to know more about those, please contact me through the form below.
Do you remember the articles about truckers being given masks and urged to wear them?
Well, here are two articles (and a video) from a trustworthy source that are well worth your time to read/watch:
- Should You Wear a Mask to Prevent COVID-19?
- OSHA SAYS MASKS DON’T WORK — AND VIOLATE OSHA OXYGEN LEVELS
Here’s one “before” article and one “almost back” article related to business in light of the government-imposed shutdowns.
- South Carolina ports were on record pace before pandemic
- Trucking Rates Are Almost Back To Pre-Quarantine Levels
10. Regarding trucker safety, deaths and crashes:
According to the National Safety Council, June is National Safety Month.
Here is a list of their National Safety Month Free Materials.
I am deeply grieved when anyone dies, is injured, or is involved in an accident on the job.
Let’s see if we can learn from the situations in which some truckers were killed or got injured so that we don’t repeat any mistakes.
Meanwhile, we can learn from these articles:
- From this article, Train strikes truck stuck on Georgia tracks, 20 cars derailed, let’s make sure that we don’t route ourselves over train tracks that are not suitable for big trucks to go over.
- From this article, Trucker swerves to avoid suspected DUI motorist, rolls over retaining wall, we learn that we should not “swerve” our trucks, but rather learn and implement good accident evasion techniques.
- From this article, Caught on dash cam: Trucker’s big load bangs overpass, we are reminded to check the height of one’s load and never attempt to ride under overpasses lower than that.
From the article The “Big 3” Factors in High-Severity Crashes, we read “the primary causes for… high severity incidents” are:
- Drowsy driving
- Speed management
- Distracted driving
Meanwhile, the Zebra listed full, non-texting, distracted driving behaviors that 2,600 survey respondents engaged in.
11. Regarding saving money:
Watch out for and do not engage with “brake checkers,” like the pick-up truck driver whose actions were caught on video.
There’s a “Push on for Congress to suspend federal excise tax.”
Be aware of the various safety tips in the article: How to truck safely through tornado season.
12. Regarding announcements of giveaways to truckers:
A June 19, 2020, article stated:
In its fifth year, the Transition Trucking award seeks to discover America’s top rookie military veteran driver who has made the transition from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces to driving for a commercial fleet.
During Landstar’s 2020 All-Star Truck Giveaway on Wednesday, July 8, “the company will give away a 2020 Freightliner Cascadia to one of [the named] four owner-operator finalists.”
We look forward to learning who the winners are!
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.