This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending January 9, 2021.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding legal, politics, rule, self-defense, clearinghouse, training and Chao:
- PennDOT: Law Will Increase Safety for Drivers
- Seattle to start ticketing motorists on Low Bridge to make room for trucks, emergency vehicles
There are several different rules in the news, which I have divided by category:
Adverse driving conditions
Hours of Service
- Safety groups rail against HOS exemption for ag truckers
- Shorter 14-hour pauses, DOL’s independent contractor ruling on Biden’s early scratch list
- CCJ Daily Dispatch, Jan. 5: Pending independent contractor ruling, under-21 pilot program could be halted by Biden
- CCJ Daily Dispatch, Jan. 7: DOL publishes final rule to define ‘independent contractor’ within FLSA
- DOL issues final rule clarifying definition of ‘independent contractor’
- DOL set to publish final rule to define independent contractor
- Final DOL Independent Contractor Rule Addresses Trucking
- Labor Issues Final Rule on Independent Contractors
- New federal rule on worker classification may not see light of day
- Worker classification rule moves forward
- FMCSA Proposes Revised Guidance on Yard Moves
- FMCSA Proposes ‘Yard Move’ Definition
- FMCSA seeks change in ‘yard move’ regulation
- FMCSA seeks public comment on ‘yard move’ definition, how it impacts drivers’ HOS
- FMCSA seeks to clarify definition of ‘yard moves’
- FMCSA’s Proposed ‘Yard Move’ Definition Could Expand Outside Of The Yard
- Lawmaker reintroduces concealed carry bill that would help truckers defend themselves when they cross state lines
- New Bill Would Make it Easier for Truckers to Conceal Carry Across State Lines
- New Congress reintroduces concealed-carry gun legislation
- Clearinghouse deadline hits; carriers told to register as soon possible
- Clearinghouse query deadline not to be extended
From this article — USDOT Secretary Abruptly Resigns Citing “Traumatic Event” at U.S. Capitol — we read this quote:
However, many truckers expressed frustration with Chao’s leadership especially as she was largely silent on the increasing attacks on professional truckers in the wake of the George Floyd riots.
Similarly, Chao never commented on the historic three-week protest in Washington D.C. while more than one hundred truckers sought relief from plummeting freight rates.
2. Regarding accidents and drugs:
Please learn what you can from these articles so that you aren’t caught up in a similar accident.
- Faenas Transport on hook for $500K after truck strikes pole
- Four days into the new year & this infamous KC bridge has struck again
- ‘It’s not always the CMV’s fault in a crash,’ Georgia officials say
- Mangled rig leads to major backups Friday morning
- Nearly 200 crashes plague New Jersey roadways on Sunday
- Never enough chrome: Rig’s chrome reflection saves life of trucker wrecked alongside remote, foggy road
- Police searching for woman who blamed driver for her own intentional crash
- Truck driver in critical condition after colliding with rig parked on shoulder
- VIDEO: Wild semi shoulder crash sends two men running for safety
- Watch as a patch of black ice sends a semi skidding into the median
Never offer to haul illegal drugs, no matter how much the promised pay-off is.
3. Regarding business, career, operations and repair:
- Learning your engine’s lamp language
- OOIDA Foundation: Knowing cost of operations critical for owner-ops
- Winter truck load increases for Minnesota’s central frost zone now in effect
4. Regarding border:
5. Regarding economy, holidays, AB5, employment, perseverance and best:
- 2020 heavy truck orders end strong, surpass 2019 orders
- Commercial truck orders end 2020 in ‘near-record’ territory: ACT Research
- December Class 8 Orders Fourth-Best Ever
- December Class 8 orders rank fourth highest in history
- December Truck Orders Close 2020 With a Bang
- Flatbed, dry van rates continue to strengthen in December
- Trucking Jobs Gain in December Outweighed by Wider Labor Trouble
- US Manufacturing Gauge Expands at Fastest Pace Since 2018
- New stats reveal the holiday shipping crisis wasn’t quite as bad as we thought
- UPS expects surge in holiday returns traffic
On January 6, 2021, I made the following comment about the article linked immediately above:
Quote from article:
the firing of in-house delivery drivers at a major supermarket chain.
I was not aware that there were “in-house delivery drivers” at major supermarket chains.
I wonder how they were being compensated for their time and vehicle usage in that capacity.
From the perspective of the supermarkets, outsourcing this work to independent contractors may be a smart move for a number of reasons.
Many, many people are working as food delivery independent contractors — or gig economy workers — with DoorDash, GrubHub, Uber Eats, etc.
Didn’t AB5 in California put these folks “out of work” until Proposition 22 came along?
Now that Proposition 22 has passed, I expect this other segment of workers will have to “flex and roll” — or find other work at the supermarkets where they’ve been working.
Independent contractors working the gig economy determine their own hours and are paid when they complete a task, choosing which tasks to take.
Meanwhile, many truckers are working many hours for free — which is wrong.
I read an article recently about a trucking company that offers a minimum amount of pay per week with an expected (my word) number of miles traveled for solo drivers and other compensation for team drivers.
It is time for truckers to be compensated for all of their time on the job!
- Initial Jobless Claims Remain Elevated Heading Into 2021
- News Alert: Truck transportation jobs grow but still below year-ago levels
- Here’s how one trucking company won in the worst year ever
- Small-fleet persevered through 2020’s bad rates, new regs
Please note that even though the carriers listed in the articles linked below have been named the “Best Fleets to Drive For,” they may not fit every trucker.
My husband Mike once got hired by one of those “best fleets” — that had a terminal close to where we live.
Because they routinely wouldn’t bring him home on weekends for his 34-hour restart, he ended up leaving to go work somewhere else.
Before you hire on with any company, make sure that you have a good understanding of how they operate and how they will treat you!
- 20 carriers among Best Fleets to Drive For finalists
- 20 carriers named as 2021 Best Fleets to Drive For
- CCJ Daily Dispatch, Jan. 8: TCA’s top 20 ‘Best Fleets’ announced
- List of top 20 “Best Fleets to Drive For” in 2021 released
- TCA, CarriersEdge Name Best Fleets to Drive For
- The Daily Dash: YRC loan comes under increased scrutiny; Best Fleets to Drive For
6. Regarding COVID-19 and events:
- “One-size-fits-all” Canadian COVID-19 regulations had truck drivers forcibly removed from businesses, driver’s family members fired
- Pennsylvania troopers to distribute COVID-19 flyers during CMV inspections, may issue citations or fines
Please note from the article linked immediately above, we read this:
The flyers contain information on quarantine requirements and mask requirements in the state of Pennsylvania.
Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police stated that “troopers will not proactively stop a vehicle to investigate quarantining and testing compliance, although enforcement is possible on a case-by-case basis.”
7. Regarding electric, fuel and autonomous:
- Pride Group orders more than 6,000 Workhorse electric vehicles
- Workhorse Group Wins Its Largest Electric Delivery Truck Order
- Diesel Continues Upward Trend, Rises 0.5¢ to $2.640
- Diesel market in 2021: Something closer to normalcy likely on tap
- Diesel prices rise for ninth consecutive week
- DoorDash for diesel? On-demand service promises to deliver fuel to parked truckers
- TruckPark, FuelMe join forces to provide on-site fueling services at truck-parking facilities
Please note that a change in terminology does not necessarily impact the scope or intent of a project.
8. Regarding inspections and insurance:
- FMCSA Proposes to Add Truck Rear Underride Guards to Safety Checklist
- How Truck Automation May Change Roadside Inspections
- U.S. considers annual underride guard inspections
9. Regarding lottery, taxes and tolls:
Let’s hope that this trucker has the financial discipline to make his winnings work for him.
10. Regarding technology, drones, predictions, and wish:
- Best apps for truckers
- If you can’t find it, build it — that’s what Evans Transportation did
- New tech monitors risky driver behaviors, simplifies work
- Ransomware? Everywhere!
- US energy consumption from renewables poised to outpace coal
- VIDEO: So someone figured out how to get a shower in a semi truck
- 2021 freight predictions — Freightonomics
- 5 predictions for retail supply chains in 2021
- A bullish outlook for 2021? — Great Quarter, Guys
- Greenbrier pins hopes on market recovery later this year
- Tax and Insurance Hikes, Speed Limiter Mandate Expected as Democrats Sweep Into Power
- UBS 2021 outlook calls for healthy freight flows in first half
11. Regarding roads and speed:
12. Regarding statistics and supply chain:
- Sustainability Q&A with DHL Supply Chain experts
- The final mile: Fixing supply chain’s weakest link
- The item you wanted is out of stock; who’s to blame?
13. Regarding food and weather:
In the article These drivers know how to ROCK an in-cab kitchen, I saw:
- the word “skillet”;
- the trucker’s statement, “I almost have a full kitchen”; and
- the appliance “slow cooker”.
But I did not see any other appliances or heat sources listed that allows a trucker to cook in his/her truck.
We cover numerous appliances in the meal preparation section of our site.
14. Regarding award, charity, and standing in the gap:
- One man’s wrecked rig is another man’s huge food donation: Food bank receives 40,000 lbs fresh produce after truck gets stuck in ditch
Standing in the gap
Here’s a huge shout-out to former police officer, now-trucker John McKown, for speaking out against human trafficking!
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.