This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending October 3, 2020.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding Hours of Service (HOS):
The new Hours of Service regulations went into effect in the USA this week.
In contrast to previous Hours of Service regulations changes, the FMCSA has rolled out an online, educational tool to help truckers “navigate” (pun intended?) the changes.
If your Electronic Logging Device (ELD) has not yet updated to handle the changes, please take the steps needed in order to be compliant.
Here are the most recent articles about this topic:
- 14-hour rule, 30-min. break overhauled at midnight Sept. 29
- 4 things to know about updated U.S. hours of service
- CCJ Daily Dispatch, Sept. 28: FMCSA denies request for longer HOS for fleets using certain self-driving tech
- Changes to 30-minute break requirement under new HOS rules
- Confused About HOS Changes? Here’s A Tool To Tell You When You’re Good And When You’re Not
- FMCSA launches online hours of service example tool
- FMCSA Offers Hours-of-Service Educational Tool
- FMCSA provides online tool to navigate HOS changes
- FMCSA Rolls Out Online Tool to Help Truckers Navigate New Hours of Service Changes
- FMCSA Says HOS Rules Still Apply To Self-Driving Truck Drivers… At Least For Now
- FMCSA shares online tool to help truckers understand those HOS changes that went into effect today
- HOS exemptions: When exempt doesn’t mean exempt from the rules
- Hours-of-service changes expected to arrive on time
- Need help with hours changes? We’ve got good info
- New hours of service go into effect
- New Hours of Service Rule Relaxes Safety, But You Don’t Have To
- New Hours of Service Rules Take Effect Sept. 29
- POLL: Has your ELD updated its compliance-assist elements to reflect the hours changes?
- Readers: Hours of service regs all about drive limits
- Take advantage of HOS exception flexibility
- What tonight’s hours change may mean for 30-minute break
- Will truck drivers use the new HOS split-sleeper provision?
2. Regarding trucker fatalities:
Sadly and perhaps predictably, deaths of truckers on the job reached another new high, according to a preview of large-truck crash statistics released this week.
There could be many factors responsible, but no “cause” or “contribution” is listed on the preview.
Opinions vary as to cause(s), including but not limited to:
- truckers are speeding because of ELDs,
- newer truckers haven’t been trained properly, and
- the majority of these crashes are the fault of the non-trucking motorist(s).
Until the FMCSA assigns the cause/contribution of each accident, we may never know the entire truth.
Here are the most recent articles on this topic:
- New Report Confirms Trucker Crash Deaths Now at Alarming 31-Year High
- NHTSA fatal crash stats show no change for large trucks in 2019
- NHTSA Reports Slight Increase in Large-Truck Occupant Fatalities
- NHTSA: No change in fatal crash stats for large trucks
- No change in U.S. traffic deaths involving trucks
- POLICE: ‘Medical episode’ likely responsible for fatal head-on collision between semi, car
- Trucker fatalities at highest rate since 1988, according to disturbing report
3. Regarding owner-operator info, technology:
These articles may be helpful to all truckers, especially owner-operators:
- A carrier’s right to review what the shipper paid the broker
- ‘Hard market’ continues to drive truck insurance costs higher
- WSIB freezes premiums for 2021
- Top 5 Ways Tolling Insights Can Benefit Your Fleet
- The Top 10 Expenses Every Trucker Should Be Tracking
- Maximize cost savings with proper battery testing and maintenance
- What Penske Learned About Charging Electric Trucks
I wish to bring special attention to the article:
Security concerns with ELDs have been apparent for everyone but FMCSA.
In my Electronic Logging Devices Mandate Commentary, which I made on Monday morning, December 4, 2017, I said/wrote:
On November 29, 2017, Indiana Attorney General Curtis T. Hill, Jr. wrote a letter to the FMCSA “to propose an immediate delay in the implementation of new requirements currently set to take effect December 18, 2017, regarding the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) by commercial drivers.”(1)
In that letter, we read:
“With manufacturers of ELDs currently responsible for ‘self-certifying’ their compliance with government standards — with no effective procedures seemingly yet developed to provide oversight over such ‘self-certifying’ — drivers and operators are left without any way of ascertaining which brands and models of devices ultimately will pass muster. They must ‘fly blindly’ into investing in products they are being required to purchase.”
In what other industry besides trucking has the government ever mandated the purchase of a ‘self-certified’ product? None that I know of.
Evidently, the chickens are coming home to roost — at truckers’ expense!
Please learn what it takes to prevent hacking of your ELD and potentially other electronic devices.
4. Regarding former FMCSA head having defected to autonomous trucking company:
Do you feel betrayed that “Jim Mullen, FMCSA’s former acting administrator, [was] hired by TuSimple to serve as the autonomous truck company’s chief legal and risk officer”?
According to this article, “Mullen’s landing spot also raises additional questions about his tenure with the FMCSA and the Agency’s role in developing policy to promote driverless technology.”
That article and the ones below point to a potential conflict of interest while the FMCSA was processing Pronto.ai’s petition for exemption.
You may read the other articles listed here:
- Ex-FMCSA Head Moves To Driverless Truck Company
- Former acting FMCSA chief joins self-driving tech firm
- Former FMCSA acting admin joins autonomous truck outfit
- Former FMCSA Acting Administrator Joins TuSimple
- Former FMCSA administrator Mullen joins TuSimple as chief legal and risk officer
- Former FMCSA boss hired by driverless truck tech company
- Jim Mullen, former FMCSA leader, takes job at TuSimple
- The Daily Dash: Trailer emissions regs delayed; TuSimple adds ex-FMCSA acting administrator
- TuSimple names former FMCSA administrator as chief legal and risk officer
I’ll add that there could be other conflicts of interest that went on when Mullen was there — or are currently ongoing with other folks inside the FMCSA — that have not yet come to light.
If the agency is wise, they will make all of their appointments, intentions, and actions transparent.
5. Regarding accidents:
The following truck accidents were preventable, so please learn from them in order that you are not involved in any situations that are similar:
- Train slams into tractor-trailer stuck on tracks
- Truck driver ejected after fatal collision with train
- Trucker tries (and fails) a tight parking lot turnaround in video
Our deepest sympathy goes to the family of John Henderson, who died following the blowout of a “front passenger side tire.”
6. Regarding operations, inspections, apps:
- 5 Easy Tips for Optimizing Your Fleet Drivers’ Routes
- CMV driver shares video ‘to let others know that being impatient could kill someone’
- Dash cammer says trucker made a risky last second exit to avoid the scales
- Driver of runaway semi truck ticketed after failing to stop at mandatory pull-off
- Figure out the owner-operator angles by taking Truck to Success
Distracted truck drivers
- Calgary inspection blitz yields poor results
- Colorado cops to pull truckers over for ‘safety checks’ on Wolf Creek Pass during October
- Colorado troopers cite 10% of truckers during surprise snow chain inspection
7. Regarding drugs and smuggling:
Never attempt to haul drugs or smuggle goods or people!
It’s just not worth the cost.
- Erratic truck driver caught smoking opium on the job
- Trucker smoking opium while driving, police say
- Truck driver caught smuggling immigrants OUT of country
- Trucker Hauling Load of Cookies From Mexico Busted With $3 MILLION in Meth
- Truckers charged in $450 MILLION tobacco smuggling ring
- Truckers charged in big tobacco busts
- Truckers charged in record $336M US-Canada tobacco-smuggling case
- U.S. truck driver arrested after feds find 117 people crammed into trailer
8. Regarding economy:
The following are some of the most recent on the topic of the economy from the trucking industry’s perspective:
- ACT report shows August used truck sales volume up, average price, miles, age down
- ATA, U.S. Xpress Reveal Forecasts for Short-, Long-Term
- Commercial vehicle market rebounded sharply, but full recovery not imminent
- ECONOMIC WATCH: Canadian spot market loads reach post-pandemic highs
- Peak season pain looms for FedEx, UPS shippers
- Quadrupling USPS’ parcel rates would cause economic catastrophe, report warns
- Spot rates rise on DAT MembersEdge, but pace is slowing
- Trucking industry economic update from the ATA and FTR
9. Regarding employment, trucker jobs, pay, rates:
Here are some of the most recent articles on these subjects…
- CCJ Daily Dispatch, Sept. 29: Labor Department looks to officially define ‘independent contractor’
- DOL looks to better define ‘independent contractor’ for business
- Truck driver employment surges
- Trucking employment up for fifth consecutive month
- Smaller trucking companies have been raising pay rates for weeks
- Are spot rates peaking before the peak?
10. Regarding driver panel and FAST Act:
- FMCSA accepting applications for driver advisory panel
- FMCSA now accepting applicants for new advisory panel of commercial drivers
- FMCSA taking driver panel applications until Oct. 16
- Want to join the panel of truckers advising the FMCSA? Here’s how.
FAST Act (Fixing Surface Transportation Act)
- FAST-Act extended a year; OOIDA says much work is left undone
- President Trump signs legislation extending FAST Act for another year
- Trump signs 1-year highway bill extension
11. Regarding events:
- Amazon Prime Day returns Oct. 13-14
- Truckers gather on national mall to promote, celebrate trucking
- Iowa association has free lunches for truckers on 10-4
We extend our heartiest congratulations to truckers who have been named as finalists in these contests:
- 4 finalists named for Transition Trucking award
- Transition Trucking military veteran finalists named
- Woman driver finalist for Transition Trucking award
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.