This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending March 20, 2021.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding autonomous vehicles:
It seems that there are two diametrically opposed views on whether or not truckers will lose jobs when autonomous trucks become more plentiful.
Meanwhile, I disagree that trucks should be completely autonomous, driverless or self-driving — and am sharing these articles as a courtesy to help you keep up with the news.
- “Autonomous” Car Crashes Into Stationary Police Cruiser, Feds To Investigate
- DOT study predicts no mass layoffs from driverless trucks
- FMCSA Head: Autonomous Trucks Will “Certainly” Cause A “Major Shift” In The Workforce
- Self-driving trucks will impact trucking jobs, report says.
- Tesla gets called out on safety standards on automated vehicles
- The Daily Dash: ‘All-in’ pay package, driverless trucks’ impact
- The Daily Dash: Driverless trucks, FedEx and last mile
- USDOT Says Driverless Trucks Likely To Replace Long-Haul Truckers First, Reduce Wages
- Who’s liable when a self-driving truck causes a crash?
- Will Self-driving Trucks Put Truck Drivers Out of Business?
2. Regarding economy, employment, pay, inflation, predictions:
- February Medium-Duty Sales Dip 1% to 17,580
- February saw 6% drop in sales of used Class 8 trucks, increase in average miles, price age
- Fleets filing 2021 orders in pursuit of ‘strong’ freight market
- FTR reports trailer orders fell in February
- Icy Weather Sends Industrial Production Down 2.2%
- No más! Trailer makers maxed out as February orders stay strong
- Strong LTL market still has some bumps in the road
- Trailers Order Fell in February
- US Economy, Trucking Industry Poised for Strong Recovery, Economists Predict
- Weekly US intermodal traffic jumps 22%
- 358 driver, manufacturing and distribution jobs cut in Texas
- Love’s to hire 2,000 people on National Hiring Day March 31
- US Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Increase to One-Month High
- Cryptocurrency an emerging payment option for fleets?
- Locally-owned trucking company makes major operations changes to provide drivers with more home time
- Owner-operator income ‘shockingly good’ in 2020
- Payment trends that are empowering consumer
- The Daily Dash: Trailer orders, driver pay
3. Regarding VMT, taxes, roads:
On Wednesday, March 17, 2021, we were sent an email from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) about their new study.
In their Executive Summary — “A Practical Analysis of a National VMT Tax System” — we read the following selected quotes:
New research from the American Transportation Research Institute details the costs of deploying and operating a national vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax. …
A VMT tax program will move fuel tax revenue collection from fewer than 300 federal taxpayers to 272 million vehicle accounts
Collection costs of 40% for a federal VMT tax would be 300 times more expensive than collection costs for the federal motor fuels tax
Evasion and noncompliance with the program will exceed
$7.87 billion annually
VMT financial transaction costs will be $4.3 billion annually
I am glad that ATRI published estimates.
I am also glad that they wrote the following:
Unintrusive. Privacy must be insured and the data must not be used for any secondary purposes. The goal of the system is to pay for roadways, not track individuals, or overtly control human behavior.
Given how Social Security numbers were never supposed to be used for any other kinds of identification — but often are! — I don’t see how anyone can stop VMT data from being used for:
- either tracking purposes;
- or limiting travel to certain segments of society — especially if the VMT device “dongle” is somehow in the future connected with:
- a national identification card;
- the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse;
- a vaccine “passport”; or
- some other identification product or service.
Also, given that a “dongle” has been defined as “a small device able to be connected to and used with a computer, especially to allow access to wireless broadband or use of protected software,” I don’t see how the powers-that-be will prevent these devices from being hacked.
Those things being said, here are the most recent articles on this topic:
- ATRI puts $20B price tag on vehicle-miles-traveled tax
- ATRI: National VMT System a Complex Proposition
- Governor seeks overhaul of Pennsylvania’s highway funding
- Graves Steps Up Support of VMT Fees as Highway Funding Source
- Lawmaker: Use Postal Service to test vehicle-miles-traveled fee
- Truck-only VMT tax unfairly burdens truckers, OOIDA says
- Drilling Deep: What truck drivers are going to report to IRS
- Idaho bill would aid road work with sales tax shift
- Left lane bills being considered in seven statehouses
- Temporary closure of 86-mile stretch of Pennsylvania Turnpike will result in 100+ mile detour Saturday night
- WATCH: One driver’s advice on how to deal with truckers blocking the road
- Wyoming trooper says Californian in a Mini Cooper ‘cost thousands of dollars to the semi trucks’ during blizzard
4. Regarding imminent, violations, inspections, whistleblower, and speed:
- Alabama carrier, driver shut down by FMCSA when safety violations are found
- Driver shut down by FMCSA after violating out of service order
- Falsified Logs and Slew of Maintenance Violations Trigger Two New Out-of-Service Orders
- FMCSA halts Alabama carrier and driver for safety violations
- FMCSA puts the brakes on Alabama carrier and driver for a slew of safety violations
- Small carrier shut down after numerous safety violations found in compliance audit
- Small fleet, driver banned from operating by FMCSA after safety violations found
- CVSA cancels inspectors competition for second consecutive year
- For 24 hours, I-24 enforcement blitz to use marked trooper semi to catch violators
- Truck inspections expected to rise this year
- Driver says trucking company threatened family after he alleged illegal practices
s29755.pcdn.co/news/investigative%3A-driver-says-trucking-company-threatened-family-after-he-alleged-illegal-practices (no longer online_
5. Regarding accidents:
- Driver’s runaway trailer ends up in interstate median
- Feds to investigate ‘violent’ Tesla vs. semi T-Bone crash
- FMCSA Begins Large-Truck Crash Causal Factors Study
- FMCSA: Most large truck fatal crashes don’t cite truck driver
- NHTSA to Probe Tesla Crash With Tractor-Trailer
- Police say ‘bad timing’ to blame for fatal CMV vs. pedestrian strike
- Semi flees accident, promptly overturns on highway ramp
- Truck driver with suspended license faces charges for fatally striking man at loading dock
- Trucker To Face Charges After Hitting Police Car That Pulled In Front Of Semi on Interstate
- WATCH: Big rig plows through parked patrol car, group of people
6. Regarding fuel, classification, rates:
- An arm and a leg – [newsletter]
- Average U.S. diesel price rises for 20th straight week
- Diesel Climbs 4.8¢ to $3.191 a Gallon
- Diesel prices hit highest national average since 2018
- Diesel’s decline Thursday one for the ages — biggest in almost 6 years
- DOE/EIA diesel price has now risen 19 straight weeks
- American Trucking Associations ‘Gravely Concerned’ About Bill Threatening Owner-Operators
- Biden administration kills Trump rule on independent contractor classification
- DOL May Withdraw Independent Contractor Rule
- Labor Department Wants to Withdraw New Independent Contractor Definition
- Labor Dept. wants to withdraw proposed ‘independent contractor’ definition
7. Regarding drugs, COVID-19, testing, lawsuits, and young:
- Border Agents Seize $1.3 MILLION in Drugs From Big Rig Hauling Empty Plastic Bottles
- Drug and alcohol testing data should be publicized more, GAO says
- FMCSA Orders Repeated DUI Offender Off The Road After Latest ‘Egregious Violation’
- Truck driver out of service after marijuana odor led to discovery of illicit substances during roadside inspection
Regarding this article — Truckers’ four favorite myths about COVID-19 vaccines — you need to know that the author’s email address includes the URL “kthealthclinic(dot)com.”
So, I did a little digging and it turns out
- KT Health Clinic is now offering COVID-19 Antibody Testing; and
- Quoting info from that page: “The COVID-19 Antibody Tests is performed in our office via Blood Draw with our certified Phlebotomist. The COVID-19 immune response tests do not diagnose an active COVID-19 infection.”
I am glad that the test is not simply a PCR test, but based on what I’ve learned — that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has not been both isolated AND purified — it makes me wonder what their antibody test is designed to detect.
I did not find any info on their site about their clinic offering “COVID-19 vaccines,” but based on the testing described above, I would need to know more to hazard a guess about a potential conflict of interest.
I hate to say it, but based on the information that I have read from those who are actually in the know about vaccines — and especially the gene therapies masquerading as “COVID-19 vaccines” — the answers provided in the truckers’ article are all propaganda and false.
Do your due diligence.
Thousands of people have either died or been injured — including very healthy people — following receiving a “COVID-19 vaccine.”
You can always choose an injection later, but you can never undo what happens after you receive one!
- OOIDA supports new vision standards for CMV driversNo disrespect meant for those truckers who cannot see out of both eyes, but I don’t think that lowering the vision requirements for truckers is a good idea.
I will be watching to see what happens as a result of this — and especially if the regulation passes and any big truck accidents result.
- The problem(s) with hair testing
- Watchdog spotlights FMCSA’s, other agencies’ disjointed drug testing verification
I realize that there may be some exceptions among younger truckers, but in general, I am not in favor of lowering the age at which a person may begin to drive a big truck because many younger people do not have the maturity to handle a big rig.
- Congress again looks to allow under-21 interstate truckers with 400-hour ‘apprenticeship’ program
- Under-21 Interstate Truckers Bill Re-Introduced Yet Again
8. Regarding ELDs, technology, and electric:
- Chip Shortage Forces Ford to Build Trucks Without Computers
- Cyberattacks in trucking rise during 2020
- Driving simulator teaches teens how to safely share the road with semi trucks
- Ransomware on the rise in trucking, says Omnitracs CISO
- Rhode Island Launches Electronic Permitting System
- Automakers Embrace BEVs, but What About Buyers?
- Electric Last Mile Gets 45,000 Van Orders
- EV batteries offer promising second-life and recycling options
9. Regarding equipment, maintenance, operations, and recycle:
- 4 Ways to Customize Trailers for Your Operations
- Federal Judge Sets July 2023 Court Date for Ongoing Glider Truck Dispute
- Kenworth’s new 15-inch digital display now standard on W990, T880 models
- Legislation requiring underride guards proposed again in Senate, trucking groups voice opposition
10. Regarding theft, time, and violence:
- Time gets wasted at traffic signals; report explores how muchQuote: “According to the report, nearly 7% of the total time of a random trip in the U.S. was spent waiting at one of more than 200,000 traffic signals studied.”
- How a freight broker foiled a cargo theft — Long-Haul Crime Log
- Suspects arrested minutes after robbing $10,000 worth of cigarettes from truck driver
Do everything reasonable you can to avoid violence.
Don’t forget to protect yourself!
- Trucker sentenced to 15 years for shooting a fellow driver at an Illinois truck stop
- Trucker shot by unknown “upset” person
- WATCH: Fuel island dispute caught on camera
- Woman Now Facing Terroristic Threats and Assault Charges Says Trucker Cut Her Off
11. Regarding weather:
- Hundreds of drivers reported spending the night on I-40 in Arizona due to winter weather closuresOf those whose comments were captured in the article, one was the following:
“It’s been 11 hours stuck on I-40 WB. This is the slowest crew ever to open the road.”
This is another reminder as to why it is necessary for truckers to keep certain emergency provisions with them on the road.
12. Regarding recognition and awards:
We appreciate those who go out of their way to help truckers!
- Stranded truckers banned from bathrooms but gifted snacks as Wyoming works to clear snowy roadways
- Trucker risks own life, rig to protect victim of hit-and-run left to die
- VIDEO: Pickup driver frees semi truck stuck in snow
Congratulations to all truckers who have been issued an award based on achievement.
- Debbie Desiderato’s 2017 Western Star 4900EX
- Meet Betty Aragon: 2020 Company Driver of the Year finalist
- Trucker wins classic Mustang in AMBEST/Lucas contest
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.