This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending April 17, 2021.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding apps, accidents, and staged:
- It’s time to quit blaming navigation apps for bad drivingIn answer to the two questions asked —
“Is it fair to blame tech companies for not including truck-specific information in navigation apps, especially when they make it clear they are for passenger vehicles only? How did truckers survive before phone apps were available?”
— no, it isn’t fair to blame tech companies for routing errors caused by truckers!
That’s why we have consistently recommended that truckers buy and use a truckers atlas.
We also have an as-of-yet unclaimed Amazon gift card for the first trucker who can prove to our satisfaction that his/her CMV-specific GPS unit routed him/her to a low clearance within the lanes of travel on a truck route.
Save yourself the cost of your truck, your things in your tractor, your trailer, the freight in the trailer, the cost of towing and clean-up, the cost of legal expenses, and the potential loss of your job by NOT getting involved in a situation that could have been avoided by using the right routing tools!
- Truck driver arrested for 16 vehicle bridge pileup that killed teen in FebruaryLouisiana State Police “Troopers were able to determine that Jordan’s actions leading up to the crash were negligent.”
Please don’t allow this to happen to you!
- Utah troopers say ‘drowsy driver’ to blame for crash snarling traffic on I-80If you find that you’re getting drowsy while driving, find and park in the nearest safe and legal truck parking space and get some rest.
Pushing yourself to keep going can lead to accidents like this.
- VIDEO: Bobtail comes in just a little too hot for stop and go traffic on wet roadsWhen the roads are wet, slow down.
This is especially true when your trailer is empty or you are bobtailing and don’t have the weight to help you.
2. Regarding economy, ports, rates, and consumer:
- Container shipping is about to report blockbuster Q1 earnings
- Could container shipping rates stay this red-hot until 2022?
- Home Construction Rebounds in March
- Import gains at top US container gateways go ballistic
- March Trailer Orders Hit 29,500, Triple a Year Earlier
- March trailer orders stabilize but supply chain issues stunt production
- Medium-Duty Sales Rise 36.7% in March
- Retail sales pop in March along with freight demand
- This could be the hottest summer ever — for freight
- Trailer orders rise in March, 2021 order boards nearly full
- Truck makers warn Biden of inability to meet freight demand
- U.S. economy, truck market now ‘as good as it gets,’ says ACT analyst
Please don’t let the fact that ports are booming make you take shortcuts or go so quickly that you make mistakes.
- FMC Chairman Daniel Maffei: Port Congestion Likely to Last Through Summer
- Port of Long Beach smashes container records in March
- Port of Savannah container moves jumped 48% in March
- Attracted by high rates, truckers shift to the spot market
- Rates ease as truckers shift to the spot market
3. Regarding drugs, clearinghouse, and smuggling:
Never ever treat people like freight — no matter how much money you’ve been promised!
Be especially cautious near the U.S.-Mexico border.
It’s a good idea to keep a lock on the back of your trailer all of the time so that no one gains unauthorized entry.
- Texas man pleads guilty to smuggling 119 undocumented immigrants in tractor-trailer
- Texas truck driver pleads guilty to transporting 119 illegal immigrants
4. Regarding autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles:
Because I do not at all favor driverless, self-driving or autonomous vehicles, I am sharing these articles as a courtesy to help you stay up-to-date on the advances in technology and within the trucking industry.
- Company behind Walmart’s Pickup Towers is back with autonomous delivery vehicle
- Cruise to Operate Autonomous Vehicle in Dubai
- Embark launches partner development program to bring autonomous driver tech to market
- Embark Trucks recruits partners to build autonomous driving ecosystem
- Plus will equip IVECO trucks with autonomous driving software
- Plus, IVECO partner to develop autonomous trucks for global deployment
- TuSimple plans to hire 400 with proceeds from $1.1B public offering
- TuSimple raises $1.1B in IPO sales ahead of bell-ringing public debut
- TuSimple Raises $1.35 Billion Through IPO
- Udelv, Mobileye partner on autonomous delivery vehicles
- Walmart Invests in Cruise Autonomous-Car Startup
- Daily Infographic: The Logistics Behind Deploying Electric Fleets
- Launch of Portland, Oregon’s ‘Electric Island’ charging station for commercial trucks is on the horizon
- Metal Prices Threaten to Hinder EV Affordability
- Stellantis CEO Vows to Accelerate Carmaker’s Electric Shift
- Tesla is putting out a call for electric Semi Service Technicians
- Truck Talk: Electrification education edition
- Win’ for US in Electric Vehicle Battery Deal
5. Regarding scams, theft, and violence:
Please be aware of and speak out against these and other types of scams that can impact truckers and trucking companies.
- ATA’s new partnership to fight towing scams, staged accidents
- FMCSA issues warning about ‘misleading marketing’ targeting truckers
- FMCSA warns motor carriers to be wary of potential scams
- FMCSA: Beware of Companies Posing as Government
- Iowa truckers scammed by Texas company can get refunds
Please help to stop crime, including the types of theft reported here.
- Spike in Counterfeit Money at Truck Stops in Louisiana, Sheriff Says
- Two Men Accused of Using Stolen Debit Cards in Alleged Diesel-For-Cash Scheme
I deplore unjust violence and urge you to help prevent it whenever you can and wherever you are.
- 19-year-old gunman kills 8 people and self at FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis
- 2 truckers charged in kidnapping-for-ransom scheme
- Gunman Opens Fire At FedEx Ground Facility Killing Eight People And Then Himself
- Man seeking ‘justice’ after thieves steal rig, strip it for parts, and dump it in the woods
- Police search for answers following shooting at FedEx facility that left 8 dead
- Trucker Dies From Multiple Gunshot Wounds in Road Rage Incident, Shooter Still At-Large
- Trucker Facing Charges After Five-Hour Armed Standoff at Arkansas Weigh Station
6. Regarding employment, insurance, lease, and VMT:
I know that the way employment statistics are calculated change over time.
I would like to know how many total people in the USA are unemployed, not just the number of “jobless claims.”
- State Jobless Claims in US Fall to Lowest Since March 2020
- Truck transportation job growth — cause for celebration or concern?
Be aware that insurance spreads the risk.
However, insurance is guided by — among other things — laws and regulations.
Some people who make insurance-related laws and regulations for the trucking industry may not understand everything they need to know, so whenever you have the opportunity to educate them, please do.
- 10 Actions You Can Take to Avoid Skyrocketing Insurance Premiums
- ATRI seeks carriers’ insurance data to study rising costs
- ATRI studying impact of rising insurance costs on trucking
- ATRI wants motor carrier input on rising insurance costs
- Bill to tie insurance minimums to medical-cost inflation reintroduced
- Insurance basics: Hauling intermodal
- NDP member calls for truck insurance relief
- Ontario owner-operators face insurance disadvantage, broker says
- Technology, training help cut insurance costs
Please be aware that a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tracking device is a back door method of control.
7. Regarding operations, carbon, commercialization, impatience, and fuel:
In my March 27, 2021, issue of TDMST Weekly Round-Up, I went into more detail about carbon.
Among the things I said was, “the quest to have a ‘carbon tax’ is, in effect, a tax against humanity and other organic life forms.”
Perhaps these articles will help you learn more.
- How much carbon does the transportation industry emit annually?
- What does negative net zero carbon mean?
- What is the carbon footprint of a truck?
The fight against commercializing rest areas is most often done by those who have businesses off the road nearby.
In the past, I have suggested putting up for bid every so often the opportunity to set up a business at a rest area.
It is a trucker’s choice to go elsewhere for sustenance or other products and services.
- Debate renewed over rest area commercialization
- Reason Foundation Touts Commercialized Rest Areas
- Report: Time to end ban on commercial services at rest areas
Please watch out for — and to the best of your ability, avoid driving around — impatient four-wheelers like the one video recorded in this article.
- Diesel prices fall for third straight week Land Line Fuel prices
- Diesel Sheds 1.5¢ to $3.129 a Gallon
- DOE/EIA diesel price declines for third consecutive week
- Independents worry fuel prices will keep rising
- MVTS reports ‘significant’ fuel savings after testing FlowBelow aerodynamic products
8. Regarding inspection, safety, and hazmat:
If you are always prepared for a thorough truck inspection, then blitzes like Roadcheck won’t bother you so much.
- CVSA sets Operation Safe Driver Week for July 11-17, places focus on speeding
- Love’s to offer free and half-priced inspections to get drivers ready for Roadcheck
- Love’s Truck Care, Speedco offering half-price DOT inspections, free tire checks to help drivers prep for International Roadcheck
- POLL: How are you prepping for Roadcheck
- Roadcheck inspections: To avoid or not to avoid?
Never drive while you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you routinely haul hazardous materials, please be aware of the following…
9. Regarding roads and infrastructure:
- In Pandemic-Era First, Driving on US Highways Tops 2019 Levels
- Report names Interstate 95 in Miami most stressful highway
- Report ranks the top 10 most stressful roads for drivers in the U.S.
- Smugglers Notch reopens — but not for truckers, Vermont troopers warn
- Truckers ignoring closure of a popular trucking shortcut, causing headaches for residents, authorities & drivers
Perhaps this has been said before now, but the “infrastructure” bill that Mr. Biden is pushing is being called the “American Jobs Plan” — as though the “jobs” come first and the “infrastructure” comes second.
Even so, the first article linked below states, “On April 12, the White House released facts sheets for each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The fact sheets highlight each state’s needs for investments that are proposed in the American Jobs Plan.”
Please see these articles for more information.
- American Jobs Plan fact sheets for all 50 states released
- White House Reports on States’ Infrastructure
10. Regarding parking and regulations:
- Coyote Logistics carriers now have instant access to parking reservations through TruckPark
- Coyote Logistics makes truck parking reservations available within CoyoteGo platform
- Group pushes cities to let truckers park in unused lots
- National League of Cities suggests giving unused parking spots to truckers
- Truck parking bill receives attention at House hearing
11. Regarding recalls, taxes, and technology:
- More than 1,400 International, 500 Mack trucks recalled
- Over 1,400 International trucks covered by two separate recalls
- Over 1,400 International Trucks Recalled Due to Risk of Unintended Braking
- Fuel tax increase considered in Minnesota Land Line State
- IRS issues temporary increase to meal deduction for businesses Federal
- Commercial Vehicle Video Telematics Solution Revenues Set to Exceed $8 Billion by 2026
- Overcoming today’s challenges in fleet telematics
12. Regarding assisting, and recognition and awards:
We commend the trucker who helped police and hope that he is able to quickly repair his rig.
- Owner-operator Ahmed Shaaban tells how, why he stopped police chase involving murder suspect
- Truck driver assists police during high-speed chase Crime & Courts
- Trucker Quickly Raises $25,000 For Repairs After Using Big Rig To Catch Murder Suspect
- Trucker receiving financial support from the community after sacrificing his rig to stop a fleeing murderer
Recognition and Awards
We recognize and appreciate the unselfishness of truckers who have helped others.
- Trucker a Highway Angel for helping couple after spinout
- Trucker honored for aiding couple in winter accident
We encourage eligible truckers to apply for any and all trucking awards.
We further congratulate those truckers who have earned recognition.
- 2021 Citizen Driver announcement set for April 19 Land Line
- Citizen Drivers to be announced April 19
- Lytx Recognizes ‘Heroes of the Road’
- Ohio Trucking Association Names Nicholas Delzeith Driver of the Year
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.