This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending February 6, 2021.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding DOT, politics, legal, and protests:
A new Transportation Secretary has been confirmed, articles about which include the following:
- Buttigieg Confirmed as Transportation Secretary
- Buttigieg Confirmed as Transportation Secretary in Historic Senate Vote
- Buttigieg confirmed by Senate to lead Department of Transportation
- Buttigieg says Transportation Department will push ‘bold’ thinking
- Hey, Secretary Pete, got a minute?
- Pete Buttigieg confirmed as DOT secretary
- Pete Buttigieg Confirmed As Transportation Secretary On 86-13 Vote
- Pete Buttigieg confirmed by Senate to run DOT under Biden
- Pete Buttigieg confirmed by Senate to run DOT under Biden
- Senate Confirms Pete Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary
- Senate votes to confirm Buttigieg as U.S. DOT secretary
- The Daily Dash: UPS’ blowout quarter; Mayor Pete now Secretary Pete
Already, various trucking groups have suggested a “to do” list for the new Transportation Secretary, including:
- the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and
- the National Association of Truck Stop Owners (NATSO).
If you disagree with what these trucking groups are pushing for, express to your own lawmakers what truckers really need.
- OOIDA-led coalition rallies to fight minimum insurance hike
- OOIDA’s Pugh tells lawmakers how they can help truckers
- Ticket quotas addressed by bills in six statehouses
- Truck size and weight being debated in North Dakota
- Labor Department seeks more time to review worker classification rule
- New 7/3 Split Sleeper Berth Rule Appears Slow to Gain Popularity
- Yard moves guidance should include truck stops, OOIDA says
2. Regarding inspections and operations:
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will be holding their 2021 International Roadcheck on May 4-6, articles about which include:
- 2021 Roadcheck Will Focus On HOS And Lighting
- CVSA announces 2021 International Roadcheck on May 4-6
- CVSA International Roadcheck Set for May 4-6
- CVSA sets this year’s annual International Roadcheck for May 4-6
- Motor Carrier Compliance Division HOS blitz in Georgia finds 34 violations
- Nation’s biggest trucker enforcement blitz to focus on Hours of Service, lighting
- Roadcheck 2021 to Target Hours of Service, Lighting
- Roadcheck blitz to highlight truck lighting, driver hours
- Roadcheck inspection blitz focuses on lighting, trucker hours
- Three-Day CMV Inspection Blitz to Crackdown on Hours of Service and Lighting Violations
- Volume-flattening Roadcheck Week slated for early May
Some helpful hints in the article “Truckers should manage behavior during roadside inspections” include:
- “Remember: The officer is just doing his job.”
- “[The officer] is out to keep the roads safe for you and everyone else.”
- “There are people and vehicles that are truly unsafe and need to be taken off the road.”
- “… stops have to be made, inspections have to be performed and citations have to be written.”
- “Don’t take it personally.”
- “Be prepared. Be courteous. Be polite… be professional.”
- How Valentine’s Day freight can be a thorn in the side of some carriers
- Mountain Driving 101: Video series guides truck drivers in the mountains
- Toughest 15 states for hours of service violations
3. Regarding innovation, technology, parts, and autonomous trucks:
Two big types of innovations covered in news articles this week concern Peterbilt and Tesla trucks.
- Peterbilt unveils new, redesigned Model 579 featuring improvements in aerodynamics, technology and comfort
- Redesigned Model 579 is ‘the most reliable truck ever designed by Peterbilt,’ company says
- Video: Peterbilt shows off more aerodynamic Model 579
- The yet-to-be-released Tesla semi truck has already gotten a facelift
- VIDEO: The newest version of the Tesla semi-truck is ready for its close-up
- Reduce Maintenance Costs by Selecting the Right Battery
- Transmission: 2020 was record-breaking year for dealerships
- ZF Bringing Automatic Transmission to North America
I am totally against commercial motor vehicles being driverless, but am sharing these articles as a courtesy to keep you informed.
- Goodyear Buys Into Driverless Trucking Business With New Investment
- Goodyear Ventures Invests in Autonomous Tech
- Goodyear Ventures invests in TuSimple
- Plus autonomous truck business adds to senior ranks
- U.S. Xpress to deploy Platform Science technology
See also an article linked below about a prediction regarding autonomous trucks.
4. Regarding alcohol and clearinghouse:
Never ever consume alcohol and then drive — especially a big rig!
- Police DashCam Catches Drunk Trucker Swerving “All Over the Place”
- Trucker With Open Alcohol Container Charged in Three-Vehicle Crossover Crash
- Video: Drunk trucker caught on police cam failing sobriety test at 3x the legal limit
- FMCSA Clearinghouse Records More Than 56,000 Truck Driver Violations in 2020
- FMCSA’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Reports More Than 56,000 Violations in 2020
- The top 2 challenges of drug & alcohol compliance
5. Regarding fuel, emissions, and electric trucks:
- Coal to Exit US Power System by 2033, Morgan Stanley Says
- Diesel Increases 2.2¢ to $2.738 a Gallon
- Diesel prices still trending up
- Fuel-Cell Truck Startup Hyzon Agrees to Merger
- Oil Jumps to One-Year High on Depleting Supplies
- California Speeds Up Plans For Its 100% ZEV Strategy
- Daimler to split truck segment into separate company, focus on zero emissions
- Meritor preparing to roll out electric powertrain
- Why The Next Postal Service Mail Truck May Be Electric
6. Regarding drugs and smuggling:
Never, ever haul illegal drugs, no matter how much money you’re promised!
And for sure, never use drugs before driving a big rig!
- DEA makes record $45M meth bust in Dallas area
- Feds Seize “Staggering” Load of Drugs From Big Rig Hauling for Notorious Mexican Cartel
- Indiana traffic stop leads to DUI, felony drug charges for Nevada trucker
- Three Big Rig Drug Busts at the World Trade Bridge in 24 Hours
- Traffic Stop Leads to DUI and Drug Possession Charges for Trucker
- Trucker calls 911 to report being followed, later admits he’s just high
Never, ever smuggle people, no matter how much money you’re promised!
- Border Agents Bust 75 People in Two Big Rig Smuggling Attempts… On The Same Day
- Border Patrol notes uptick in drivers using trailers in human-smuggling attempts
7. Regarding economy, employment, independent and gig workers, and predictions:
- 2020 ‘one-quarter’ bad for heavy-duty truck market, says ACT
- Both freight rates and volumes ended the year strong but could falter if the economy does
- Class 8 Orders in January Clear 40,000
- Dry van demand got mid-winter boost
- New data shows more signs of softening truckload markets
- Online Surge Delivers Record Revenue for UPS
- Truck OEMs struggling to keep up with orders
- UPS shreds fourth-quarter estimates as demand surged
- Employers Add Just 49,000 Jobs
- Employment in trucking ends eight-month growth streak in January
- US Unemployment Claims Fall to 779,000; Job Cuts Grind On
Independent and gig workers
Although these articles are generally geared for non-truckers, what happens in the gig economy can eventually impact trucking and how truckers are classified.
- California Court Rejects Suit Challenging Independent Contractor Exemption
- New coalition backed by gig companies pushes continued independence of workers
- 8 Changes to Expect in Trucking in 2021
- Schneider looks to ramp up investments in 2021
- Tesla CEO Makes Bold Prediction About Future of Driverless Trucks
- Viewpoints: 11 supply chain predictions for 2021
8. Regarding ice, weather, and idling:
It is a bone of contention that truckers may need to clear the snow and ice from the tops of their trucks, but have no equipment with which to do it.
If you are a company driver, please consult with your driver manager or Safety Director about what they recommend.
Do not accept silence or “whatever you feel is best” type answers.
They are not the ones who will be charged if a block of ice flies off your truck and consequently someone is injured (or killed) or another vehicle is damaged.
- Icy box truck sends chunk flying through car windshield
- Trucker Gets a Face Full of Glass When Sheet of Snow Shatters Windshield
There have been a lot of weather events lately, especially related to winter.
Please plan ahead and always drive safely.
- Beware of high winds on I-77 in Fancy Gap region
- Blizzard keeps trucking through Midwest
- Multiple crashes and blizzard conditions force closure of parts of I-80 in Iowa
- Truckers still restricted as nor’easter rolls on
- UPDATE: Winter storm prompts more travel restrictions
- Video shows massive, miles-long multi-truck pileup in Iowa
- Virginia troopers issue commercial vehicle travel advisory after multiple trucks blow over
- Winter storm leads to more temp-controlled truckload freight
The lawmakers considering anti-idling regulations have no first-hand understanding of the situation, so it is up to you to tell them.
- Bill would make it illegal for trucks to idle for more than three minutes in New York State
- New Bill in New York State Aims to Reduce Allowable Idling Time to Only 3 Minutes
- New York bills cover truck rules on idling, tolls, more
9. Regarding retention, taxes, supply chain, and best truck stops:
- A tax advisor can help you navigate confusing laws
- How to handle depreciable trucking equipment for taxes
Best truck stops
- App users select best chain, independent truck stops
- Popular Trucking App Surveys Drivers on Favorite Truck Stops And The Winners Are…
- Truckers voted on the best truck stops and the results are in
10. Regarding roads, tolls, and accidents:
- The most dangerous interstates for truckers: No. 1 — I-85
- The most dangerous interstates for truckers: No. 2 — I-95
- The most dangerous interstates for truckers: No. 3 — I-75
- The most dangerous interstates for truckers: No. 4 — I-20
- The most dangerous interstates for truckers: No. 5 — I-77
Rarely do we read that a toll is coming to an end, but in this case, hurray!
Please seek to learn what you can from these articles about accidents and do what you can to avoid being involved in a similar situation yourself.
- Truck Driver is “Lucky to be Alive” After Disregarding Railroad Crossing Warning
- VIDEO: Trucker loses brakes on Colorado I-70, uses shoulder to stop
- Trucker Gets 6 Months in Prison for Fatally Striking Trooper Conducting Roadside Inspection
- Trucker sentenced to 6 months for crash that killed trooper performing roadside inspection
Separately, we read:
“The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is in the midst of developing a uniform standard for conducting commercial motor vehicle crash investigations…”
I’m interested in seeing how this turns out!
11. Regarding COVID-19, face masks, and vaccines:
This is the narrative they want you to believe.
You may want to read:
“Proof That Face Masks Do More Harm Than Good”
by Dr. Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA.
That being said, here are some of the most recent articles about truckers wearing face masks:
- Federal mask mandate covers freight workers, drivers at air and seaports
- No, CDC Did NOT Tell Truckers They Need To Wear Masks 100% Of The Time
- Solo truckers are exempt from CDC mask mandate
- The Daily Dash: TFI still on the hunt; truckers exempt from mask requirement
- Truckers exempt from CDC mask requirement
- Truckers mostly exempt from new federal mask mandate
I totally disagree with anyone being pressured to get a vaccine, especially as a condition of employment.
I have compiled a lot of information about the COVID-19 “experimental biologicals” and refer you to the video:
That being said, here are the most recent articles about the COVID-19 “vaccines” as they concern truckers.
- Ryder Provides Paid Time Off for COVID Vaccinations
- Ryder System gives employees paid time off to get vaccinated
- Tennessee lawmaker to pursue vaccines at truck stops
I totally disagree with OOIDA regarding vaccines being easily accessible to truckers.
If you need any proof of the destructive capability of vaccines using mRNA technology, check out what Moderna has written about their shots being like an “operating system.”
God already gave you an “operating system” for your body, and it has nothing to do with being injected by a man-made concoction that has already injured many and killed others.
As of February 1, 2021, Children’s Health Defense reported:
329 Deaths + 9,516 Other Injuries Reported Following COVID Vaccine.
Furthermore, we read:
COVID-19 Fatalities 16.7 Times Too High Due to ‘Illegal’ Inflation
So, please, be on your guard against those who would push you into risking one of your greatest assets: your health.
12. Regarding awards:
Congratulations to all who earned awards for merit and safety!
- MTA holds virtual awards gala to recognize industry’s best
- Penske awards three Canadian fleets
- Peterbilt honors Canadian dealers in annual awards
Some truckers are still the white knights of the highway and we commend them, including this one:
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.