This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending March 13, 2021.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding PRO Act, speed limiters, and classification:
I found out about the PRO Act of 2021 on a Facebook trucking group — after the legislation had already passed the U.S. House.
I utilized information from one trucking resource to write a letter to the two U.S. Senators from South Carolina (my home state).
In my letter, I concluded with the following:
Please do two things immediately:
1. Vote against H.R. 842, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2021, at least the requirement for prong B as it concerns truck drivers who want to work as an independent contractor for a motor carrier; and
2. Work to repeal the overtime exemption for employee truck drivers under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
If you feel strongly about this, please contact your U.S. Senators, preferably by phone.
- Efforts to Exempt Lease Owner-Operators From Bill Threatening to Wipe Out I/Cs Fail
- House passes PRO Act bill that includes ABC test
- OOIDA asks lawmakers to vote against PRO Act
- PRO Act passes House, moves on to Senate
- The Daily Dash: SPAC shifting focus?; House passes PRO Act
- U.S. House Passes Bill Trucking Groups Warn Could Lead to Wipeout of Many Owner-Operators
Again, if you feel strongly about this issue, please get in touch with federal elected officials (Representatives listed here).
- ATA renews speed limiters push in letter to DOT
- ATA, OOIDA square off in renewed speed-limiter debate
- OOIDA Rips ATA’s Latest Push For Speed Limiter Mandate as ‘Backdoor Maneuver’ to Benefit Large Carriers
- Poll: How do you feel about requiring speed limiter on your truck?
- Speed limiters: ATA tells DOT Secretary Buttigieg “yes”, OOIDA says “no”
2. Regarding inspections, violations, drugs, and smuggling:
Always be ready for an inspection of your tractor and trailer.
- 72-Hour Enforcement Blitz in Six States Set to Begin
- Starting tomorrow, troopers in 6 states will target traffic violations to catch criminals
- Troopers in six states staging combined enforcement effort
Please review the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) to see what is legal and what is not legal — both in a commercial motor vehicle and in/on your person as a professional truck driver.
- Seat belt stop turns into multiple criminal charges after driver fakes his identity
- Truck driver out of service after marijuana odor led to discovery of illicit substances during roadside inspection
- Whiff of pot leads to declaring driver an imminent hazard
- Wrong-way trucker involved in fatal crash declared imminent hazard by FMCSA
Never, ever haul illegal drugs!
- 1,200 Pounds of Meth Stashed in Buckets Seized From Big Rig Arriving From Mexico
- The Daily Dash: Drivers with drug violations; Workhorse’s legal process
- Trucker involved with Mexican drug cartel sentenced for transporting nearly $2M in drug profits
Never ever offer to treat human beings like cattle!
- 111 people found in tractor-trailers during smuggling attempts near Laredo, Texas
- Agents seize over 100 individuals in trio of tractor-trailer smuggling attempts
- Border Patrol agents stop human-smuggling attempts using tractor-trailers, apprehend 111 people
3. Regarding autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles:
I am sharing these articles only as a courtesy to help you stay on top of what is happening in this industry.
I hate to say it, but I can’t help but feel that eventually, one of these driverless trucks is going to be involved in a crash that results in a fatality.
As good as artificial intelligence may be, a robot can never be programmed to have human intuition.
If you feel strongly about the FMCSA’s Chief seeming to allow for or push autonomous trucks, please make your voice heard!
- Automation to Have Extreme Impact on Workforce, FMCSAs Meera Joshi Says
- FMCSA chief Joshi: Drivers will take hit from automated trucks
- FMCSA Chief: Autonomous Trucks Mean ‘Real and Broad Impacts on People’s Livelihoods’
- Impact of automation on drivers’ jobs ‘a priority’ for FMCSA
- New FMCSA Boss Warns of Coming Truck Driver Job Losses Due to Driverless Trucks
- Electric Vehicles Adoption Will Take Longer Than Expected
- Legislation would require reefer trailer units to be electric
- Mega Carriers Embrace Fleet Electrification With Goal to Reach Net-Zero-Emissions by 2040
- Postal Service Says it Needs Congress to Make Next Mail Truck Electric
4. Regarding economy, capacity, containers, and volume:
- 2020 sees 13% dip in transborder freight between U.S., Canada, Mexico
- ACTs driver-availability index reflects three-year low
- FTR: January Trucking Conditions Rebound
- FTRs Trucking Conditions Index rebounds to double-digit positive reading in January
- IHS Expects Trucking Recovery Despite Concerns in 2021
- Trailer Orders Rise 82% in February to 24,200
- Work truck market experienced pandemic-related decline
- Work Truck Trends: 2020 was the Year of Class 5Quote: “While 2019 was the year of Class 6, 2020 was the year of Class 5. Class 5 rose to nearly 20%, was the only class to gain share in 2020, and increased in volume significantly.”
- Reefer shippers beware: Capacity shifting to dedicated and carriers practicing stricter freight selection
If you haul containers, these articles might be good news to you.
Please make sure that you are legal every inch of the way when it comes to your credentials and truck requirements.
- Intermodal poised for run, according to Wells Fargo
- NRF: U.S. Container Port Traffic Expected to Grow Dramatically
- Port Officials, Retailers See Congestion Lasting for Months
- Retail container imports expected to grow dramatically
- US intermodal traffic recovers from severe winter weather
- Port of Long Beach volume jumps 43.3% year-over-year
- Traffic Volumes Continue to Climb Amid Pandemic
freightwaves.com/news/port-of-long-beach-volume-jumps-433%25-year-over-year (no longer online)
5. Regarding ELDs, technology, and employment:
- Canada’s fast-approaching ELD mandate won’t be enforced — at first
- Drilling Deep: Canada’s very gentle launch of its ELD mandate
- ELD Mandate: What to Expect in 2021
- The Daily Dash: Canada’s ELD mandate; states and bridges
- Daily Infographic: Phishing no longer No. 1 cybersecurity threat
- Trucking 101: Don’t get in your truck without these apps on your smartphoneIf you use any of the apps listed in this article, please consider providing a comment about it through our site.
- Jobless Claims Fall to 712,000 as Pace of Layoffs Eases
- Nine-Month Run of Trucking Job Gains Comes to an End in February
6. Regarding accidents, fatalities, hitchhiker, and weather:
- Crash Trends a Concern, FMCSA Officials Say
- Daily Infographic: Accident Involvement Guide
- Nevada troopers share dramatic body cam video from 17 vehicle pileupQuote: “Police said that the pileup was caused by ‘motorists traveling too fast for the icy roadway conditions.'”
- VIDEO: Big rig bashes up car during backing attemptThis accident could have been completely avoided if the trucker had simply observed GOAL: get out and look!If you see someone about to have an accident, at least honk your horn!
Don’t just sit there and watch it take place!
This is at least the third article like it that I recall having seen.
Is the best way to avoid having a hitchhiker on the back of your trailer to install a cab-monitored camera on the rear (perhaps on top of the DOT bumper)?
- 5 things truckers should know about severe storms
- Weather looks to be factor in February’s decline in trucking jobs
7. Regarding fuel, insurance, and purchase:
The news about the Oregon bill — that would ban petroleum-based diesel by 2028 — is disturbing.
If you travel in the northwestern USA, please take action.
- Bill would ban sale of petroleum diesel in Oregon by 2028
- Clean fuel proposal gets green light from New Mexico panel
- Diesel fuel prices rise due to winter storms, demand
- Diesel Rises 7.1¢ to $3.143 a Gallon
- Evolve: How higher fuel prices affect trucking and rail
- Evolve: Real-time oil and gas industry data is going to be huge
- Evolve: The future of oil and gas visibility
- Oregon bill would ban petroleum-based diesel
- Oregon lawmaker looks to ban diesel sales in state
- The average cost of diesel rises nationally
- No-fault claims with litigation threat add insurance costs
- Survey: Most Americans want $2M minimum liability insurance for trucks
- Canadian new truck registrations will recover gradually
- Canadian used truck prices on the rise: Ritchie Bros.
8. Regarding lottery, pension, predictions, and politics:
Some people who win big money don’t have the financial discipline that is required to manage it.
I hope this trucker has it!
- Chattanooga trucker hits $2 MILLION lottery jackpot
- Truck driver wins $2 million lottery prize: I went numb
- Biden expected to sign LTL driver pension relief package
- The Daily Dash: Pension plan news; Daimler Trucks CEOs last hurrah
- Collaboration, globalization to define future of commercial vehicle market
- Drilling Deep: What is trucking going to be like in 2030?
- Driving business forward in the face of change and uncertainty (with video)
- Trucking conditions close to the best ever: FTR
- Injury liability for truckers is the focus of a Texas bill
- New Texas law may soon protect trucking companies but not their drivers
- Transportation Aid Included in COVID-19 Relief Bill
9. Regarding loyalty, operations, safety, and roads:
How well do these strategies work for you as a trucker?
- 5 states with most structurally deficient bridges
- White House Hasn’t Ruled Out Democrat-Only Infrastructure Plan
10. Regarding rally, risk score, and women:
- Why women are increasingly interested in driving trucks – s29755.pcdn.co/news/einride-survey%3A-technology-increases-womens-interest-in-trucking (no longer online). I have written extensively about some of the unique challenges that female truckers face.
11. Regarding taxes, tolls, and towing:
- Changes to fuel tax rates pursued in 11 states
- Hillsborough County’s transport sales tax struck down by Supreme Court
- Pennsylvania Lawmaker Wants to Pump Brakes on Bridge Toll Plan
- Pennsylvania Turnpike named world’s most expensive toll road
- Smart Fleet Strategies to Manage Tolling
- State lawmaker introduces bill calling for halt to PennDOT plan to toll nine bridges
If you’ve been the victim of predatory towing, please contact your state’s Attorney General.
- $202,000 Towing Bill a Textbook Example of a Scam
- $202,000 Towing Bill a Textbook Example of a Scam
- ATA Task Force to Pursue Predatory Towing at Crash Scenes
12. Regarding expertise and awards:
OK, this video only shows what happened “after” the trucker backed his rig in the hole, not what he did to get there.
Still, we commend the trucker for a job well done!
Congratulations to all truckers who achieved safety milestones!
- The Long Run: Trucker reaches driving landmark — safely
- Volvo recognizes top Canadian dealers
- XPO honors drivers for achieving more than 3 million safe miles
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.