This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending August 22, 2020.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding CVSA Brake Safety Week, International Roadcheck, and slack adjusters:
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) annual Brake Safety Week starts this coming Sunday and runs for the week, according to the articles listed here:
- Brake inspection week begins Sunday, Aug. 23
- Brake Safety Week enforcement blitz begins Sunday
- Brake Safety Week to Focus on Chafed Air Brake Hoses
- Don’t forget! CVSA’s Brake Safety Week set for Aug. 23-29
- FYI: Brake Week inspections begin Sunday, Aug. 23
- REMINDER: CVSA’S Week-Long Brake Inspection Blitz Begins This Weekend
According to this article:
The CVSA said that August is Brake Safety Awareness Month. During that month, the CVSA works to educate drivers, motor carriers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake maintenance, operation and performance.
And one article reveals the Toughest 15 states for maintenance, brake violations.
Separately, the CVSA’s International Roadcheck — a 72-hour event that was postponed from May — is scheduled to take place from September 9-11.
- Inspectors to focus on driver requirements during 72-hour blitz
- Upcoming crackdown to focus on ‘Driver Requirements’– Here’s a cheatsheet to help you through it.
Recent articles focused on slack adjusters (aka brake adjusters):
2. Regarding USDOT and federal law:
In what has to be one of the most unjust and ludicrous rulings I’ve heard of in some time:
a “Judge Rules USDOT Does NOT Have a Duty to Enforce Federal Law Protecting Truckers.”
On August 18, I responded to this issue on Facebook by writing:
OK, Ms. Chao, if it isn’t the responsibility of the Secretary of Transportation to uphold the federal laws dealing with commerce or the transportation of commercial items, whose responsibility is it?
18 U.S. Code § 1951.Interference with commerce by threats or violence
“Whoever in any way or degree obstructs, delays, or affects commerce or the movement of any article or commodity in commerce, by robbery or extortion or attempts or conspires so to do, or commits or threatens physical violence to any person or property in furtherance of a plan or purpose to do anything in violation of this section shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.”
3. Regarding brokers and transparency:
The following articles are about broker transparency, including the fact that the FMCSA is asking for comments on this issue:
- Breaking News: FMCSA to take comments on automatic broker document reporting
- Broker transparency reform petition seeks comments
- CCJ Daily Dispatch, Aug. 19: FMCSA calls for feedback on broker transparency petition
- FMCSA Asks for Comments on Broker Transparency Petitions
- FMCSA calls for public comments on broker transparency regarding transaction records
- FMCSA seeks comments on broker transaction petition
- FMCSA seeks feedback on petition to increase broker transparency
- FMCSA to Consider New Proposals to Crack Down on Freight Brokers
- The Daily Dash: Broker transparency, truck orders and the Inc. 5000
- The FMCSA wants to hear your comments on freight broker transparency
- Update: FMCSA poses questions on broker reporting requirements
Just so you know what you’re dealing with:
– this article states:
“Broker margins increased in the second quarter of this year even as freight declined, according to a new report. Still, revenue overall revenue fell from the first quarter”; and
– this article — Largest Freight Broker Group Pushes Back Against New Proposals to Increase Transparency — states:
“The largest association representing third party logistics (3PL) companies is pushing back against two new proposals which would require more transparency in transactions.”
If you deal with brokers, now is the time to speak up!
4. Regarding accidents:
Earlier this year when the world seemed focused on COVID-19 and there were fewer vehicles on the road, one hardly heard about truck accidents at all.
Why is it the case that some of these totally preventable accidents are happening in greater numbers these days?
They’re NOT all because of other vehicles!
- ‘Some sort of confusion’ leaves semi truck wedged beneath overpass
- Car veers into semi, causes wiggle wagon wipeout
- Driver, passenger escape unharmed after drowsy driving crash
- Early-morning collision with train leads to driver’s death
- Semi truck collapses rural Missouri bridge
- Truck driver involved in crash with school bus helped children before collapsing and dying
- Truck driver’s attempt to avoid one collision leads to another serious crash
- Trucker dies in collision with freight train in Pennsylvania
- Trucker killed, woman ejected, after semi strikes bridge support
- Trucker Suspected of Eating While Driving Loses 80,000 Pound Load of Muffins
You may recall in my August 8, 2020, TDMST Weekly Round-Up under point #2 that I raised a serious concern about what I learned in this article:
Although I’m not happy about the accident that transpired that led up to this, an August 18, 2020, article — Atlanta Police Reverse Controversial Policy After Crash Involving Big Rig Leads to Dispute — states:
However, following a public outcry and a high-profile accident involving a big rig, APD has reversed course on this policy.
On August 14, APD announced officers would once again be responding to non-injury accidents given that traffic has increased following the lifting of COVID-19 mitigation restrictions.
5. Regarding economy:
Here are some of the most recent articles about the economy from the perspective of the trucking industry:
- ‘Perfect storm’ of positive factors results in upward revisions for commercial vehicle forecast
- Daimler Trucks North America building at pre-pandemic levels
- ECONOMIC WATCH: Class 8 orders hit nine-month high
- ECONOMIC WATCH: Fleets’ ‘renewed confidence’ reflected in trailer orders
- ECONOMIC WATCH: Truck tonnage dips in July
- July’s Truck Tonnage Index Drops After June Rally
- None in the top 10 but almost 170 transport companies in the Inc5000 list for 2020
- Online used equipment marketplace eliminates guesswork, adds speed for truck buyers
- Pandemic sparks 97% jump in e-commerce sales for Walmart
- Port of Long Beach marks best month ever
- Predicting the Unpredictable: Plotting Out Economic Recovery
- Survey shows toll-road traffic still lagging pre-pandemic levels
- Technology Is Key to Surviving in the Time of COVID
- The Daily Dash: How the largest truckload freight markets performed this week
- The second freight frenzy of 2020 is upon us
- Will capacity return to trucking?
- World’s largest container line triples profits despite COVID
6. Regarding electric trucks:
There may be a lot written and said about electric trucks in the days to come, especially from a climate perspective.
Here are some of the most recent articles about electric or zero-emissions trucks:
- 54,000 electric semi-trucks predicted to be on the highways in 5 years
- COVID-19 Can’t Derail Electrification Momentum
- Understanding true zero-emission vehicles
- UPS Moves Down Electric Truck Path with New eCascadia
- Volvo President Voorhoeve Outlines Electric Heavy-Duty Truck Plans
7. Regarding fires, road closures, and storms:
Please be careful driving in areas where there are wildfires, dust storms, and high winds and rain due to tropical storms and hurricanes!
- CDOT releases road closure/detour info as wildfires rage through state
- Grizzly Creek Fire keeping I-70 closed for seventh day
- Part of I-70 in Colorado remains closed due to wildfire (with forecast video)
- Section of I-70 still shut down – Truckers beware of detour routes
- Wildfires in several states shutting down highways
- Converging dust storms temporarily closed a portion of I-10
- Dash cam puts you behind the wheel of a truck blown over by a terrifying storm
- Potential hurricanes still on track for US landfall next week
- Tropical storm could hit Caribbean this weekend (with forecast video)
- Two hurricanes could hit US next week (with forecast video)
- What an extra-active hurricane season could mean for freight
FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller was quoted in the article “What to look out for when hauling FEMA loads“:
While trucking demand will increase and rates may soar… it’s important for truckers to ensure that daily detention rates are built into their confirmation sheets. Often, it could take days, and sometimes weeks, before trucks are unloaded, which could prove costly if detention pay is not built into a driver’s daily rate.
There are other helpful tips in the article.
8. Regarding FMCSA:
More was written about Jim Mullen, Acting Administrator of the FMCSA, stepping down:
- Another change at the top for FMCSA as interim boss Mullen announces departure
- FMCSA Getting a New Acting Administrator
- FMCSA’s acting boss Jim Mullen stepping down at month’s end
- Jim Mullen is leaving FMCSA
- Jim Mullen to step down from FMCSA at the end of August
- Mullen exits FMCSA at end of the month; Wiley Deck returns as replacement
- Mullen stepping down at FMCSA
- Mullen to leave FMCSA at end of August, DOT confirms
9. Regarding lottery, trucker pay, theft, and big fine:
So, a Lucky trucker [won a] $480K Lottery ticket, huh?
If he doesn’t have financial discipline, I wonder how his riches will affect him.
Here are recent articles about trucker pay:
- FreightWaves Carrier Summit: Driver pay steady during pandemic (with video)
- Hirschbach adds incentive pay plan for lease operators
10. Regarding protests:
Recent articles about protests — planned or carried out — and the outcomes include:
- Chicago highway shutdown avoided after low protest turnout
- Florida Motorist Accused of Climbing Onto Semi and Assaulting Trucker Along Interstate
- Illinois State Police Issue Warning Message to Truckers About Expressway Shutdown
- Illinois troopers warn drivers as thousands of protesters plan to shut down expressway
- Lawmaker Says “Total Government Failure” is Putting Truckers and Protesters in Danger
- Police Reveal Why They Stopped “Illegal” Protest Aiming to Shut Down Chicago Interstate
- Police STOP Protesters From Shutting Down Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago
- Truck Driver Brutally Beaten by Portland Protesters is NOT Dead, Police Dispel Rumors
Please prepare yourself and be on your guard if you drive into these hotspots.
11. Regarding solar power on trucks, innovations, and automation:
I love innovations that are genuinely helpful.
- Thermo King Adds Solar to Heating Unit
- Thermo King’s solar-powered trailer heater
- Michelin reveals Energy Guard test results
Watch out for more articles like this in the future — and read them with this in mind: “What is missing?”
I appreciate those who recognize truckers for the awesome jobs they do, truckers who are doing the great jobs, and the opportunities for truckers to be recognized.
- They never quit so we can keep going: 3M spotlights drivers going the distance
- Trucking Company Delivers 14 Loads During 3,400-Mile Autonomous Platooning Pilot
- Aug. 31 is deadline for Company Driver of the Year nominations
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.