This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending August 1, 2020.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding hurricanes and warnings:
Hurricane Douglas that was threatening Hawaii and Hurricane Hanna that hit Texas have made their mark.
Meanwhile, Florida is bracing for Tropical Storm Isaias [pronounced (ees-ah-EE-has)], which they expect to make landfall at hurricane speed.
If you are a regional or OTR trucker and are driving in the southeastern USA, please make sure that you have provisions in your truck, particularly:
- drinking water,
- an emergency kit,
- a first aid kit, and
- enough cash to last through an extended power outage.
Now is also a good time for you and your home support team members to check or update your medical emergency contact info.
Recent articles about Tropical Storm or Hurricane Isaias are:
- Breaking News: Florida governor declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Isaias
- Hurricane bearing down on Florida prompts freight warning
- Hurricane Isaias heading toward Florida ports this weekend (with forecast video)
- Tropical Storm Isaias may soon impact US freight flows (with forecast video)
Weather.com reported this on August 1.
Please also note that this article — Tropical storm prompts freight warning — states:
“Cargo theft recording firm SensiGuard issued a notice Thursday warning shippers and carriers that may be sending or hauling loads into the path of Hurricane Isaias.”
2. Regarding insurance:
Numerous articles this week cover the topic of insurance:
- Insurance Premiums: Are you doing everything you can to manage them?
- Liability insurance just keep rising for independent truckers
- OOIDA leads coalition against minimum insurance increases
- OOIDA leads coalition in saying ‘no’ to federally mandated insurance hikes | TheTrucker.com
- Prime Insurance blames attorneys for lawsuit loss in malpractice claim
- Trade groups pen letter to Senators in opposition to liability insurance hike
- Trucking Groups Take Fight to Stop Massive Insurance Hike on Truckers to the Senate
3. Regarding operations, safety, inspections, and online spending:
This information may be helpful to those looking to lower deadhead miles:
How to drive out empty miles
Learn the lesson from the article and the photos embedded in it regarding:
This is why you don’t stay in your truck while loading or unloading.
Always be ready for an inspection at any time!
- Dozens out of service after troopers spring a series of surprise inspections on truckers
- Month-long, statewide aggressive driving blitz begins tomorrow
The Daily Infographic: Delivery times amid COVID-19 states:
“The coronavirus pandemic and quarantines have resulted in online spending increases in many households — boosting demand for delivery giants like UPS and FedEx.”
4. Regarding HVUT and excise tax:
Not one article that I read is in favor of the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) or federal excise tax continuing:
- OOIDA to Congress: Suspend Heavy Vehicle Use Tax
- Owner-operators seek one-year suspension of heavy vehicle tax
- Suspend federal excise tax on trucks during pandemic, Democrats ask
- The Daily Dash: Stopping the federal excise tax…
5. Regarding protests:
Articles on protests can be grouped as follows:
Boycott being called for:
- Protesters Want to Shut Down Chicago’s Dan Ryan Expressway
- Social Justice Groups Plan to Shut Down Chicago Interstate With 25,000 Protesters
Colorado and I-225 related:
- Alleged Shooter in I-225 Protest Charged With Attempted Homicide
- Charges “Being Discussed” For Driver Who Drove Through I-225 Protest, Shooter Identified
- Protest on Colorado Interstate Erupts Into Gunfire and Chaos
Navigating through protest areas safely:
- Helping truck drivers navigate through protest areas
- Tips on what to do if you encounter a protest
- Worried about driving through protests? Here are 12 tips to keep truckers safe.
6. Regarding accidents, ramp back up, and low clearance “misjudgement”:
When you’re choosing a place to park, consider the implications of your choice from both the legal and life perspectives:
- Pickup driver killed after colliding with illegally parked semi truck, police say
- Trucker Cited After Pickup Truck Driver Dies in Collision with Illegally Parked Big Rig
- Virginia police ticketing truckers who park on the side of the road following fatal crash
I sure would like to know more about why one trucker got caught going down a ramp in the wrong direction.
Was he tired?
Was he able to read English?
I couldn’t help but laugh when I read how the author of a July 31, 2020, article described a low clearance accident:
“A trucker misjudged the height of a Massachusetts bridge … clearly marked as having a clearance of 10 feet 3 inches, according to local police.”
A tweet embedded in the article stated:
“It’s going to take hours to unload the roughly 15,000 pounds of used computer parts before the truck can be pried our from under the Bailey Bridge…”
Even though there was no mention of a GPS unit being used by the driver, I have to believe that the trucker was using one instead of first consulting a truckers atlas for all of the low clearances first.
7. Regarding theft and being armed:
Particularly since the riots and protests started, I’ve read numerous comments on Facebook from truckers in which they are saying that they’re going to be armed with a gun to protect themselves.
Recently, one trucker fought back, opened fire, and fended off an attempted robbery at a truck stop:
- Armed truck driver fights back against 4 strong-arm robbers at truck stop
- Trucker Opens Fire to Fend Off Attempted Robbery in Truck Stop Parking Lot
We cover the topic of low cost self defense for truckers on our site.
8. Regarding brokers:
It was reported on July 29, 2020:
“As part of OOIDA’s second episode of ‘Live From Exit 24,’ OOIDA President Todd Spencer spoke about the need for truckers to rally together in order to fix such issues as the lack of broker transparency and detention time.”
9. Regarding economy:
The following articles describe various aspects of the economy in the USA and Canada:
- Canada’s economy recovering, but still well below pre-pandemic levels
- Drilling Deep: What invoices are telling us about the strength of the freight market
- Drivers say fleets stepped up during COVID-19
- ECONOMIC WATCH: Canadian spot market load volumes stormed back in June
- Latest reports from ACT Research show month-over-month improvements in June for freight index, truck and trailer sales | TheTrucker.com
- Spot truckload rates rose amid supply-chain imbalances during week ending July 26 | TheTrucker.com
- The Daily Dash: Freight volumes paint picture of a stronger third quarter
- U.S. Xpress has strong second quarter
- Universal Logistics CEO touts company’s adaptability in ‘tough environment’
- UPS blows away estimates with stunning second-quarter results
- Volumes continue to roll, up 29% year-over-year
- Werner Q2 continues truckload earnings beats
10. Regarding drugs:
It is never worth it to try to haul illegal drugs in a truck, as the articles this week attest:
- 286 lbs. of meth and 26 lbs. of fentanyl found in tractor-trailer
- Big Rig Smuggling Bust Leads to Discovery of Convicted Murderer and Stash House
- Canadian Trucker Denied Entry Into U.S. After $6 MILLION in Marijuana Found in Load
- Couple Faces 45 Years in Prison After Overweight Load Leads to Big Rig Drug Bust
- Millions of Dollars in Meth Discovered Hidden in Speakers and Big Rig’s Sleeper
- Overweight load leads to inspection, drug bust — and a possible 40 year prison sentence
- Trucker Admits to Police He Filled Water Bottles With Something a Bit Stronger
- Trucker arrested for smuggling 300 pounds of fentanyl and meth in bunk
- Truckers busted smuggling meth, fentanyl into U.S.
11. Regarding electric trucks and innovations:
A milestone was recently achieved regarding electric trucks:
- Freightliner Logs 300,000 Battery-Electric Miles
- Freightliner’s electric trucks pass 300,000-mile marker
I am very interested in knowing how durable this new road material will be compared to, say, just asphalt or concrete:
The article states: “Crews are working to repave the road using recycled asphalt held together with thousands of melted plastic bottles.”
I’m also interested in learning the impact on the environment in that area.
I would have figured that California — of all states — would not want to use plastic in their roads.
12. Regarding driving experience vs. age:
A July 31, 2020, article stated, “While the study showed that, while age is an important factor, experience has a greater impact on crash rates, crash involvement and moving violations.”
13. Regarding speed limit in Oklahoma:
If you drive through Oklahoma, be aware that “On several segments of Oklahoma turnpikes, the maximum speed limit has been bumped up to 80 mph.”
Other articles about this are:
- Higher speed limits are coming to Oklahoma highways
- Speed Limit Increasing on Some Oklahoma Roadways But Pay Close Attention to the Signs
- Speed limits could soon rev up on Oklahoma’s rural turnpikes, interstates
Our heartiest congratulations go to:
- Here are the three carriers named finalists in Small Fleet Champ program
- Overdrive Small Fleet 2020 Champ competition finalists
There is also the opportunity for one company driver to win an award:
If you’re such a trucker and you’re awesome, get someone to nominate you.
I look forward to reading who wins!
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.