This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending June 27, 2020.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding California, CARB and electric trucks:
Did you hear about the “clean truck” or “clean air” mandate in California?
By the year 2045, every new truck sold in California must be “zero-emission.”
This news makes me wonder:
- what will eventually happen to trucks that travel into California; and
- how many Californians will be going out-of-state to buy their trucks.
According to one article, “Fleet owners with 50 or more trucks are required to report about their existing fleet operations.”
And there are more regulations coming!
Here are the recent news articles about this:
- California approves world’s first electric truck sales mandate
- California regulator: ‘A remarkable time in history’ for clean truck innovation
- California to require zero-emission trucks by 2045
- California’s ‘Advanced Clean Trucks’ rule cracking down on diesel poised to pass this week
- California’s Electric Highway Just Got More Juice
- CARB Mandates Every New Truck Sold in California to be Zero-Emission by 2045
- CARB Passes Advanced Clean Trucks Rule
- Advanced Clean Trucks regulation passed by CARB
One other thought: If something happened that would wipe out the ability of totally electric vehicles to operate, wouldn’t there be a lot of people stranded on the roads without transportation?
2. Regarding things legal and illegal:
We cover the topic of truck cams on our site.
One of the aspects of in-truck camcorders that we do not cover is “cab-facing” or “driver-facing” units.
One article this week covered the topic:
The following items cover marijuana in different respects:
- How does marijuana affect drivers?
- Data on Marijuana and Impaired Driving Limited
- Marijuana laws place drugged driving alongside drunk driving
- Border officers bust another truck with marijuana from Canada
Don’t try to smuggle drugs in a fuel tank (or anywhere else on a truck)!
- $3 MILLION of Liquid Meth Found in Fuel Tanks of Big Rig Hauling Auto Parts From Mexico
- $3.1 MILLION worth of liquid meth found in truck’s fuel tanks
Don’t try to smuggle people in a truck, even if they are hidden!
3. Regarding the economy:
There’s so much going on with the economies in the USA and Canada.
Here are some of the most recent articles:
- After April’s ‘worst reading in history,’ ACT’s May For-Hire Trucking Index rebounds to neutral territory
- ATA Truck Tonnage Index Slightly Dropped in May, Still Far Below 2019 Numbers
- ATA’s truck tonnage index falls 1% in May, 9.6% below May 2019(a)
- ECONOMIC WATCH: Canadian spot market load volumes recovering
- ECONOMIC WATCH: Trailer orders remain at historic lows
- May saw ‘significant’ improvement in U.S. trailer orders but number still 71% lower than 2019
- May trailer orders improve – to second-weakest month on record
- Trucking Economist Makes Encouraging Prediction as Rates and Volumes Rebound
- U.S. Trailer Orders Up in May, 71% Lower Than 2019
- Kenworth Sales Company-Las Vegas relocates to spacious, newly constructed facility
- Navistar Holds Virtual Groundbreaking for San Antonio Facility
4. Regarding activists and protesters:
We were saddened to learn that an “animal activist” was killed while attempting to show “compassion” for the livestock on board one truck.
It doesn’t ease the pain of her death, but she was violating an “anti-trespassing” rule.
- Animal activist struck, killed days after anti-trespassing rules given royal assent
- Animal Rights Activists Claim Trucker Murdered Protester, Investigation Continues
- Bill to allow up to $25K fine for protesters who interfere with livestock haulers
I wish that anti-trespassing rules were passed to protect all trucks and truckers, not just livestock haulers.
If there were, perhaps we wouldn’t be hearing about the problems of protesters and rioters swarming trucks and truckers.
There have been quite a number of articles lately about protests either being planned or taking place in various places.
One thing that I’ve observed is that there are different kinds of state “Stand Your Ground Laws” around the USA.
My home state of South Carolina has a “Castle Doctrine” that basically says that “there is no duty to retreat [from] an attacker in any place in which one is lawfully present.”
Upon researching this within the South Carolina Code of Laws, in Title 16, Chapter 11, Article 6:
SECTION 16-11-420. Intent and findings of General Assembly.
(A) It is the intent of the General Assembly to codify the common law Castle Doctrine which recognizes that a person’s home is his castle and to extend the doctrine to include an occupied vehicle and the person’s place of business.
(B) The General Assembly finds that it is proper for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, their families, and others from intruders and attackers without fear of prosecution or civil action for acting in defense of themselves and others.
(C) The General Assembly finds that Section 20, Article I of the South Carolina Constitution guarantees the right of the people to bear arms, and this right shall not be infringed.
(D) The General Assembly finds that persons residing in or visiting this State have a right to expect to remain unmolested and safe within their homes, businesses, and vehicles.
(E) The General Assembly finds that no person or victim of crime should be required to surrender his personal safety to a criminal, nor should a person or victim be required to needlessly retreat in the face of intrusion or attack.
Again, laws vary by state.
Please stay safe.
The following are recent articles about protests (planned or actual):
- Trucking Co. Owner Victimized by Rioters Speaks Out… “We Lost What We Worked Hard For”
- REPORT: Protesters Plan to Slow Traffic to a Crawl Along I-40 in North Carolina
- Slow Roll Planned For I-40 Tomorrow
- Three Women Arrested in I-40 Protest That Caused 10-Mile Traffic Backup
- Truck Driver Hurt During Protest in California Speaks Out
- 3 Protesters Arrested for Blocking Traffic on I-40
- REPORT: Truckers Under Attack in Minneapolis, City Council Advances Plan to Replace Police
- Warning: Group Attacking Trucks and Drivers in Minneapolis
5. Regarding nuclear verdicts:
You may be aware that a “nuclear verdict” is a jury award in which the penalty exceeds $10 million.
Recent articles about nuclear verdicts include:
- Nuclear verdicts jump more than 300% in 7 years
- ‘Nuclear Verdicts’ on the Rise Causing Insurance Rates to Skyrocket – Forcing Carrier to Shut Down
- Plaintiffs’ attorneys: ATRI nuclear verdict report needs reality check
- Report: 51% Annual Increase in Nuclear Verdicts Awards
- Verdicts against trucking companies show dramatic increase of 51.7% annually, study shows
- How can the trucking industry avoid nuclear verdicts?
- How Fleets Can Address Nuclear Verdicts and High Insurance Costs
You may also wish to read the information these pages on our site:
- On Trucker Attorney Qualifications, Costs and Networks
- Trucker Legal Help: How to Get What You Need When You Need It
6. Regarding trucking numbers:
There were numerous articles published this week that addressed different kinds of numbers in or from the trucking industry:
- Commentary: Your fleet’s ‘break-even point’ is not what you think
- Ensuring a non-owned trailer becomes a non-issue (about trailer interchange insurance)
- Proposed Bill Would ‘Create a Truck Lease Task Force’
- Benefits of tracking maintenance costs for fleets
- Average Roadside Repair Costs Up 30% Year Over Year
- Average roadside repair costs up 30% year over year
“Place a heavy-gauge wire seal at the top of the trailer that is inaccessible from the street level”
I’ve never heard of this before.
Do you have any experience with this — and if so, would you please contact us through the form below?
A June 26, 2020, article opened with:
“A current bill to increase insurance requirements will put a strain on already struggling carriers and will likely force a lot of small carriers and owner operators out of business.”
Near the end, the article stated:
“On Wednesday, June 24, OOIDA sent a letter to its members asking them to contact [the representatives listed at the bottom of the article].”
If you feel strongly about this, please contact the U.S. House members listed to give your feedback.
Another article on this topic is:
7. Regarding truck operations:
Did you know that DEF can “expire”?
Because it can, “watch for expiration dates.”
Evidently, one doesn’t have to look into a crystal ball in order to tell “which truckers are most likely to crash.”
These articles address upcoming blitzes:
- Yes, that week-long driver enforcement blitz is just a couple of weeks away
- Here’s a list of 9 traffic enforcement efforts that are starting soon
While the following article sounds positive, I have observations and a question:
- Observation 1: Nowhere in the article was there any mention of the temperature inside the vehicle that the driver experienced.
- Observation 2: Nowhere in the article was there any mention of climate control from non-idling sources.
- Observation 3: Car haulers do not generally have sleeper berths installed on them.
Question: Is climate control even needed on car haulers?
8. Regarding brokers:
The issue of freight brokers is still in the news and I hope it will continue to be in the news until the issues that truckers and trucking companies have raised are fixed.
Recent articles about this are:
- FMCSA Has Started Investigating Freight Brokers For Alleged Violations, But Says There Aren’t Many
- FMCSA says that they’re actively investigating complaints about bad brokers
- FMCSA weighing broker-bond enforcement action
9. Regarding shootings and safety:
If you’re face-to-face with an attacker, that’s one thing.
But what do you do if someone is shooting at the truck you’re driving — or you! — when you’re in transit?
We’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ll send them through the form below. 🙂
Here are some of the most recent articles about shootings:
- Cops seek suspect who opened fire on big rig ‘multiple times’ on I-40
- Police in Memphis, Tennessee, seek help identifying suspects who fired on tractor-trailer on I-40
- People are shooting at semi trucks in the south, drivers say
The following kind of shooting is different:
10. Regarding scanners:
The state of Arizona has added more scanners, per the articles listed here:
- Arizona Adding More Truck Scanners
- Arizona expands use of weigh-in-motion technology
- Truck-screening tech at Arizona ports of entry designed to enhance safety, allow efficient movement of freight
- Arizona DOT Adds Truck Screening Technology at Ports of Entry
Based on what I read, the technology in the scanners includes or looks at:
- weigh-in-motion sensors for the truck’s weight,
- cameras to read USDOT numbers and license plates,
- “message signs,” and
- ability to detect tires that are damaged or need to be repaired.
One article also stated:
- “The computer checks the truck’s credentials against national and state databases”; and
- “If there is an issue identified with the commercial vehicle, such as expired registration, federal out-of-service orders or required permits not on file, the message boards will direct the driver to pull into the port for further inspection.”
So get ready for an electronic form of “your papers, please” when it comes to driving a commercial motor vehicle in Arizona, at least through the ports of entry.
I anticipate, too, that this kind of scanning will become more commonplace around the USA (and possibly the world) as these technologies are more fully developed:
- blockchain technology and
- the “Internet of things.”
11. Regarding positive things:
These articles have a positive spin:
- Fortune Transportation tech boosts driver recruiting, safety:
“To date, the company’s seen 101 drivers receive the 1 million mile plaque, while three drivers have gone on to reach 4 million safe miles with the company”; and
- Pilot Flying J’s annual Road Warrior contest for professional drivers returns with weekly sweepstakes and $10,000 grand prize
We look forward to even more positive things transpiring in the trucking industry in the future!
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.
a. www.thetrucker.com/trucking-news/business/atas-truck-tonnage-index-falls-1-in-may-96-below-may-2019/ (no longer online)