This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending April 3, 2021.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding parking, infrastructure, and legal:
I wrote to our Congressman about legislation introduced by Rep. Mike Bost, H.R.2187:
“To amend title 23, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Transportation to set aside certain funds to provide parking for commercial motor vehicles on the Federal-aid highway system, and for other purposes.”
I quoted our experience with trying to find truck parking one night when Mike and I were coming out of the northeastern USA.
Under the articles listed immediately below, please see more about what I wrote in my letter.
- Trucking groups applaud reintroduction of Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act
- Congress again eyes funding for truck parking expansion
- Truck parking, equitable funding among OOIDA priorities for next highway bill
- Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act reintroduced to Congress
- Truckers hope new parking legislation will bring some relief to a serious situation
- Trucker turned lawmaker introduces bill to fix ‘critical shortage’ of safe semi truck parking
- U.S. lawmakers seek $755M to boost truck parking on highways
- Legislation seeks $755 million to expand, improve truck parking
- Bill Seeking $755 MILLION to Fix Truck Parking Shortage Reintroduced With A Twist
- Truck Parking Legislation Introduced in US House
- Truck Parking Capacity Bill Reintroduced
I also wrote the following in my letter to my Congressman (edited slightly here for clarity):
The problem with truck parking has gotten worse since our experience in 2010, especially since the Hours of Service regulations were changed in 2013.
An examination of the U.S. Constitution will reveal that there is no provision for the federal government to create or maintain parking for big trucks.
Per the 10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, truck parking must be left to the states.
The best way to handle the situation of increasing truck parking is to allow the free market to work such that entrepreneurs create truck stops.
One potential solution that I have been suggesting in various places for years is to allow companies to create truck stops in established industrial parks, where big trucks already pick up and deliver freight.
While it is impractical and unfair to expect shippers and receivers to create truck parking on their premises, a related idea is to allow truck stops to be created adjacent to industrial facilities, distribution centers, and retail centers.
Assuming that there is an established “Federal-aid highway system,” the best way for Congress to address increasing truck parking (according to the Constitution) is to encourage states to create “truck-friendly” environments.
For reference purposes, “one trillion” has 4 groups of 3 zeros in it, written out this way:
So, $2 trillion is written out like this:
At least one article linked below says that the infrastructure plan “directs billions to health care,” which of course has nothing to do with infrastructure.
The unconstitutionality of this bill needs to be addressed.
If you’re an owner-operator, speak out about the 2T plan to tax businesses!
- Eager to build infrastructure, Biden plans to tax businesses
- Infrastructure threatened if bigger trucks are allowed, coalition says
- Infrastructure Plan Could Include $3 Trillion in Tax Increases
- Biden’s Infrastructure Plan to Total $2.25 Trillion, Include Corporate Tax Hikes
- $2 Trillion Biden Infrastructure Plan Becomes “The American Jobs Plan” To Rebuild, Create Jobs, Compete Against China
- Trucking Groups React to ‘Counterproductive’ $2+ Trillion Infrastructure Plan With ‘Concern’
- USDOT Secretary Defends $2+ Trillion Infrastructure Plan as ‘Once in a Lifetime Opportunity’
- ALERT: Democrats Intend to Pass I/C Wipeout Bill As Part of $2.25 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
- ATA, NATSO encouraged by Biden’s infrastructure proposal
- Biden Infrastructure Plan Calls For $300B For EVs, Roads, Bridges
- Medically Necessary: Infrastructure plan directs billions to health care
- Biden says his infrastructure plan will ‘win the future’
- Independent contractor definition battles may further complicate lawsuits over lease purchases
- ATA Supports Federal Legislation to Help States Curb Cellphone Use for All Motorists
- Freight Brokers Ramp Up Fight Against Bill That Could Spell ‘Disaster’ For Owner-Operators
- ALERT: Democrats Intend to Pass I/C Wipeout Bill As Part of $2.25 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
2. Regarding autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, drones, and last mile:
As I am adamantly opposed to autonomous, driverless, or self-driving big trucks, I am sharing these articles solely to help you stay current with the news.
- A huge bipartisan opportunity for Congress is here, and it involves autonomous trucking
- Autonomous Trucking Gains Steam But Big Hurdles Remain
- Autonomous vehicles poised to solve long-term industry ills
- Embark Announces First OEM-Agnostic Self-Driving Interface
- USDOT Outlines How Carriers Could Fuel and Safety Check Driverless Trucks Without Truckers
- Volvo adds Aurora as autonomous partner to spur development
- Volvo, Aurora Pair for Autonomous Trucking Service
- Volvo Autonomous partners with Aurora to develop self-driving rigs for North American market
- Volvo Partners With Self-Driving Tech Startup to Bring Autonomous Trucks to Market
- Senate Legislation Targets EV Charging Stations
- Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz to Start Electric Van Production in US in 2023
- EV Provider Arrival Goes Public
- Chargers Everywhere’: Biden Maps $174 Billion Path for EV Boom
- California proposes electric vehicles standard for rideshare companies
- Daily Infographic: Drone Delivery Readiness by State
- Without planning, drones represent a flying traffic nightmare
There are at least two different frames of reference on this subject:
- Letting truckers drop trailers at an agreed-upon location, in order to avoid lengthy wait times in docks and keep earning money; and
- Letting autonomous tractors drop trailers so that human truckers can pick them up and take them to shippers and receivers.
Some time back, I spoke with a female trucker who was unloading a smaller truck at a local store.
The truck she drove bore the label “last mile” and I asked her if all she did was literally in the last mile of the trip prior to delivery.
She laughed and said, “No!” and then proceeded to share just a little bit.
So, different companies may have different views about this.
- IKEA’s NYC last-mile delivery fleet to be fully electric by May
- Last-mile delivery made smarter with transit technology
- Last-Mile Delivery Fleet Takes Delivery of Volvo VNR Electric
- Last-mile construction materials provider Curri lands $6M funding round
3. Regarding pay, rates, tolls, costs, and VMT:
- Even stronger summer than last year’ sends driver pay higher
- The Daily Dash: Pay increases, lease purchases
- Website ranks the top 10 highest paying trucking companies in the U.S.
- Generally, just tired of paying these freight rates
- Daily Infographic: Spot vs. Contracted Rates
- Spot rates strong for flatbed haulers, DAT reports Land Line
- Spot market: Flatbed demand climbing like it’s early 2018
- Pennsylvania bill would reform Delaware River toll commission
- OOIDA keeps Indiana Toll Road lawsuit alive with petition for rehearing
- Truckers to pay more on tolled Delaware River bridges
- Top Three Ways to Minimize Toll Violations for Commercial Fleets
- Mobile River Truck Bridge would toll trucks only on I-10
- Alabamans are in favor of I-10 truck-only toll bridge, poll says
VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) Tax
- Costs of VMT tax could outweigh revenues, ATRI says
- VMT not part of infrastructure plan, DOT says
- After Backlash, USDOT Says Taxing Drivers By The Mile NOT Part of Infrastructure Bill But…
- Could VMT Tax Help Fund the $3 Trillion Infrastructure Plan?
4. Regarding drugs, smuggling, DUI, and alcohol:
Never agree to haul drugs for anyone, no matter how much you have been promised.
- Massive opium bust at Port of Vancouver leads to warehouse sting
- Agents find $15M in meth in cargo trucks entering from Mexico
- Commercial paper towel shipment reveals $2.4M in concealed marijuana
- $2.4 MILLION of Marijuana Seized From Big Rig Hauling Paper Towels Into U.S. – Transportation Nation Network
- Trucker Under Investigation After 400 Pounds of Meth Seized From Big Rig Entering U.S.
- Largest meth seizure in Miami history brings cartel arrests
- Viewpoint: DOT ignoring key test to stop drug-impaired truckers
- Over $8M worth of meth discovered in shipment of broccoli
- 123 immigrants discovered inside trailer of driver who says he was “not aware” he was transporting people
I am concerned that humans could be smuggled in trailers truly without a trucker’s knowledge.
What are some safety precautions that truckers can take to prevent this — even if a trailer is sealed?
Please comment below. Thanks.
Never drink alcohol and then drive — especially a big rig!
- Nevada Truck Driver Sidelined By FMCSA After DUI Arrests Less Than Two Weeks Apart
- Nevada driver declared imminent hazard for drunk driving
- Nevada trucker ordered off the road after two DUI arrests 12 days apart
- Trucker shut down by FMCSA for two DUIs in less than two weeks
- FMCSA shuts down Nevada trucker who received 2 DUIs just 12 days apart
If one drinks alcoholic beverages, at least don’t bring it into your tractor.
And make sure you’re completely sober before you start to drive!
5. Regarding Run on Less, fuel, and CARB:
Run on Less
- Two Canadian fleets to participate in Run on Less Electric
- NACFE to Launch Run on Less Electric in September
- Heavy Duty Repair Forum coordinates with NACV Show
- NACFE Names 13 Fleets for Run on Less Electric
- No blackjack: DOE/EIA diesel price streak of increases stops before 21
- Diesel prices down across much of the nation Land Line
- Fuel tax revenue protection topic of Alabama bills Land Line
- Diesel Drops 3.3¢ for First Decline in 21 Weeks
- Oil Rises for Second Day With Focus Moving Toward OPEC+ Meeting
- Oil Rises After OPEC+ Agrees to Boost Output Gradually
- Three CNG stations coming to Trans-Canada Highway in Northern Ontario
- Fleet Sustainability: Using Biodiesel to Drive Success
- Diesel Prices Dip Slightly, Hit $3.16
- OPEC+ surprises with more oil output, market surprises with higher prices
6. Regarding truckers, retention, employment, and COVID-19:
The reason why gamers may be selected for this is so that they can take over autonomous trucks.
Be on your guard!
- 265 layoffs hit freight-related firms in Texas
- US Consumer Confidence Surges to One-Year High on Job Optimism
- US Employers Add 916,000 Jobs in March as Hiring Accelerates
- US Jobless Claims Rise as Labor Market Recovery Remains Choppy
- Truck transport jobs rise in March, February figures revised upward too
- Three reasons to hire entry-level CDL drivers in 2021
- Drivers should work to become a top ‘draft pick’ for motor carriers
The National Vaccine Information Center reported from the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) that between December 14, 2020, and March 26, 2021 — and following COVID vaccines — there have been:
Remember that there is a 99% chance of recovery from COVID-19 and that you can boost your God-given immune system in order to help you stay healthy.
I strongly urge you to consider not getting the vaccine, no matter how much money you are promised.
You can always delay getting this injection, but once you get it, it is irreversible.
Meanwhile, here is what is happening with it in the trucking industry.
- Pilot to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine Incentive to Frontline Workers
- Pilot to offer company truck drivers, truck stop workers, cash incentive to get vaccine
7. Regarding inspections, equipment, and recall:
You can’t go wrong when you’re always ready for an inspection.
- Roadcheck 2021: The 5 things drivers need to know
- Roadcheck 2021: The top 10 things fleets should do today
- Month-long, statewide distracted driving crackdown starts April 1
- NJ Police Watching For These Distracted Driving Behaviors During Month-Long Crackdown
- Heads Up: Roadcheck Enforcement Blitz Is Almost Here!
- CVSA new out-of-service criteria go into effect
- ‘Six-State Trooper Project’ kicks off on Monday
- CHP’s ‘Trooper Truck’ might be a joke, but they’re for real in other states
- Video shows why you should always do a pre-trip inspection
- Nation’s biggest trucker enforcement blitz is weeks away — here’s a ‘cheat sheet’ to get you ready
- How important is the age of the truck you’ll be asked to drive?
- Rebuild the engine or trade the truck?
8. Regarding theft, cargo insurance, congestion, pricing, and cryptocurrency:
I’d like to hear from an owner-operator about how well cargo insurance works.
Please comment below. Thanks.
9. Regarding technology, chips, business, and ELDs:
- Transportation agencies to use cameras, sensors to monitor traffic on I-95 river bridge between Maine, New Hampshire
- Ticket camera rule changes pursued in nine states Land Line State
- Prices for a weigh and a reweigh went up at CAT Scale
- Great Dane Adds GPS-Only Telematics For Pre-Owned Trailers
- Amid cyberattacks, how does the supply chain stay resilient?
- High-priced technology pushes trucking rivals into unusual alliances
- Microchip shortages finally slowing truck production
- PACCAR parks unfinished trucks while waiting for microchips
Have you been inconvenienced because of the chip shortage?
If so, how?
Please comment below. Thanks.
- Leveraging Canadian ELDs for doing much more than Elogs
- From Paper Logs to Using an ELD: Tips to Have a Smooth Transition
- Prepare for ELD mandate now, suppliers say
10. Regarding economy, efficiency, and operations:
- Flatbed freight market jumps as vans, reefers level out week of March 21
- Deep-Freeze Issues Linger at US Refineries
- Backdrop for carriers picture perfect as produce season begins
- Trucking job numbers: stronger, but tempered
But please don’t be in such a hurry that you take shortcuts or cause an accident.
11. Regarding accidents, accidents with hazmat, and weather:
Please learn from the articles below so that you are less likely to be involved in an accident.
- WATCH: Oblivious dump truck driver nearly drags utility pole into oncoming car
- GoPro captures dramatic semi flip in whiteout conditions
- VIDEO: Thieves swipe FedEx rig as driver steps out to make a delivery
- Officials ‘don’t know’ why big rig took a high-clearance 4WD road that got them stuck
- Home-hauling semi truck smashes DOT workers, truck
- WATCH: Dump truck’s raised obliterates traffic lights
Accidents with hazmat
It was a bad week for accidents with hazmat loads.
If you haul hazardous materials, please be doubly mindful of your obligation to safety.
- Crash Involving Semi Hauling ‘Radioactive’ Load Shuts Down Stretch of I-95
- News Alert: Truck carrying radioactive material crashes in North Carolina
- Truck leaking liquid hydrogen creates shut-down hazmat situation
- Flooding continues in waterlogged South
- High winds expected to continue after rough day for semis in South Dakota
- Trucker clings to roof after floods wash his rig off the road
- High Wind Warning issued in Colorado
- High Winds ‘Cause Mayhem’ For Big Rigs Across Numerous States
- Grass fire smoke shuts down North Dakota highway
- High risk of wildfires in High Plains
12. Regarding awards and recognition:
We congratulate truckers who have developed trucking skills or achieved milestones.
We recognize and thank those who have helped truckers.
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.