This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending May 8, 2021.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding inspections, insurance, platooning, distractions, operations, and securement:
Please be aware that inspections can happen at any time!
Some of these articles cover a recent major inspection blitz.
- Annual inspection blitz begins Tuesday; here’s what they’ll look for
- FMCSA Boss Gets Up Close Look at Inspections Process on First Day of 72-Hour Blitz
- Inside the mind of a truck inspector
- International Roadcheck inspection push begins Tuesday
- Roadcheck is happening now. Here are four possible outcomes if you get inspected.
- Roadcheck may be over, but the next trucker blitz is just around the corner
- The out of service violations for lights and hours of service
- The toughest states for hours of service, lights violations and more
- There’s nothing special about CVSA’s Roadcheck
If you feel strongly about this issue, please get in touch with your federal elected officials.
- OOIDA-led coalition seeks allies in battle against trucking insurance hike
- Trade groups call on House Democrats to reject insurance increases
- Trucking asks U.S. House to oppose liability insurance hike
- Trucking Group Urges Action As Anxiety Grows Over Proposal to Hike Insurance Costs
I oppose platooning because of the increased potential for accidents.
This article identifies visual, manual and cognitive distractions.
Please be aware of potential blunders when operating your truck.
- Stay alert and slow down through work zones
- WATCH: Driver remembers the importance of a parking brake the hard way
Was this load even secured properly to begin with?
2. Regarding autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles and more, fuel, fuel/electric, and drones:
I am 100% opposed to autonomous, self-driving, or driverless trucks — and am sharing this info only to help you stay on top of the latest news.
- Another former FMCSA boss joins a self-driving truck tech company
- Automated truck platoons to traverse Alberta highway
- Can Kodiak Robotics compete with the big boys of autonomous trucking?
- Former FMCSA execs now part of self-driving truck industry
- Self-Driving Truck Startup Plus Reported to Plan Hennessy SPAC Deal
- SPAC rumor mill churns over autonomous truck software developer Plus
- Tesla Engineer Says Musk Overstated Tesla Autopilot Capability
- Truck Talk: Autonomous insurance edition
- Yet Another Former FMCSA Chief Now Working to Speed Deployment of Driverless Trucks
Electric vehicles and more
Please stay informed about the “electrification” effort going on now.
- America’s First ‘Megawatt Electric-Only Truck Stop’ Slated to Open Next Year
- Bill Would Create National EV Charging Network in Five Years
- Company announces plan to build solar powered ‘E-Truck Stop’
- Electric Truck Startup Einride Raises $110 Million
- EV-Charging Industry Not Showing a Profit
- GM to invest $1B to build electric vehicles in Mexico
- House Democrats Support Electric Vehicle Policies, Pallone Says
- Lion to Locate Largest EV Plant in Illinois
- The state of electric trucks — Transmission
- XPO Begins Testing Electric Trucks
- Diesel price continues to fluctuate Land Line Fuel prices
- Diesel Price Resumes Rise, Increases 1.8¢ to $3.142 a Gallon
- DOE/EIA diesel price up for the week, first time since March
- Natural gas truck sales down in 2021: ACT
- Sting of the pen: Biden wants to radically reshape how fossil fuels are collected, transported, and consumed
- Study: Biodiesel packs major health and economic benefits
Fuel / Electric
This article covers both the potential fuel shortage this summer and New York State looking to go all-electric.
Please be aware that drones are increasingly being used to do delivery work — and I am sharing this info only to help you stay on top of the latest news.
- Drone Startup Manna Raises Cash for US Expansion
- DronesWaves: From pharmaceuticals to pizza, how drone use could evolve
- DroneWaves: ‘Deliver within minutes, not hours’
- DroneWaves: Delivering everywhere with drones
- DroneWaves: Exception management a ‘game-changer’ for drone operations, NASA official says
- DroneWaves: How close is drone delivery to a last-mile solution?
- DroneWaves: Navigating on-demand drone delivery to the burbs
- DroneWaves: Out of sight, earshot will win public acceptance for drones
- DroneWaves: The need for speed — WTT
- DroneWaves: Underwater drones’ role in supply chain
- DroneWaves: UPS takes aggressive approach with drone airline
- DroneWaves: Urban planning for drone delivery
- Kroger Joins Drone Delivery Race With Pilot From Ohio Store
- NOAA uses drones for first time to see remote tornado damage
3. Regarding accidents, seat belts, mandate, and weight:
Many of the accidents reported in the articles below are entirely preventable!
Please learn what you can and seek to never be involved in a similar accident.
- Georgia police say trucker was charged for pushing car into intersection in incident caught on camera
- Massive rolls of plastic bounce down highway, total vehicles following semi overturn
- Trooper say trucker choked on fruit, crashed rig into ditch
- Truck driver electrocuted while dumping trailer on Kansas roadway
- Trucker Says ‘Piece of Fruit’ Caused Him to Wreck Big Rig
- Trucker’s utility pole hit-and-run sparks fire at nearby business
- Two tractor-trailers collide on I-84; driver electrocuted in Kansas
- VIDEO: Traffic Camera Catches Trucker in Bizarre Hit-And-Run Incident
- VIDEO: Truck driver takes on narrow backroads bridge
- Watch as a train tears a tractor trailer in two, spilling bottled water load
If you feel strongly about other mandates on trucks and truckers, please contact your federal elected officials.
- Congress considers (another) bill to require automatic braking tech on all new motor vehicles
- Congress starts down road to automatic braking mandate
- Feds push police to check truck driver seat-belt compliance
- Michigan lifts last weight restrictions Monday
- Selected loads exempt from spring thaw limits in Southern Ontario
4. Regarding competition, event, and freebies:
I wish these truck competitions were kept as trucking skill competitions.
- ATA Unveils Battle of the States
- National Truck Driving Championships Replaced This Year With Trivia Competition
- The National Truck Driving Championship will look a little different this year
- Virtual Truck Driving Championships will be trivia tests for truckers
I guess Mike and I won’t miss anything this year.
We knew we weren’t going as soon as they announced mandatory face mask wearing.
5. Regarding tolls, fines, taxes and financial risk:
- Delaware River toll commission reforms approved Land Line Tolls
- M-CORES toll projects partially repealed
- Pennsylvania Panel Explores Alternatives to Bridge Tolls, Gas Taxes
- Public-private partnerships challenged in Pennsylvania Tolls Land Line
- White Paper: Tolling in 2021: Emerging Trends for Commercial Fleets
- DOT fines increase based off 2015 inflation adjustment law
- FMCSA increases fines for trucking regulation violations for the second time in 2021
- Inflation drives up DOT fines for regs violations
- Montana law increases penalties for reckless driving around emergency personnel
- Regs violations fines increased; thousands of Internationals recalled
- I can drive for miles and miles … can states tax me on it?
- Path to progress: Fuel tax, vehicle miles traveled tax square off as primary options for sustaining Highway Trust Fund
- The Daily Dash: Scrambling to close the fuel tax revenue gap
Especially for owner-operators and independent truckers:
- Managing Financial Risk During COVIDQuote from article:
“A financial services adviser urged trucking companies to learn as much as possible about new and existing customers’ ability to pay their bills, as navigating the post-pandemic economy will bring with it new challenges.”
6. Regarding CBD, vision and suicide:
Please pay attention to the possibility of legal trouble when using certain kinds of CBD products.
I have nothing against those who want to enter trucking but have vision problems, but in my opinion, truckers need two good eyes with good peripheral vision and good distinction of color.
- FMCSA evaluating driver vision standard at upcoming meeting
- FMCSA medical board to consider change to vision qualifications for drivers
- Medical Review Board to discuss vision standards proposal
This is a shame. If you feel that you have nothing to live for, please reach out to a suicide hotline.
7. Regarding drugs, smuggling, theft and violence:
Never ever haul illegal drugs, no matter how much you’re promised.
- $8 MILLION in Meth and Marijuana Seized From Big Rigs Arriving From Mexico
- Intoxicated tractor-trailer driver arrested after operating vehicle under twice the legal limit
- Truckers Arrested For DUI, Heroin and Meth Possession During Surprise ‘Safety Checks’
Never ever haul humans as though they were cargo.
- 100 People in ‘Suspicious Big Rig’ Flee Police When Pulled Over at Texas Truck Stop
- Truck driver in custody after 80-100 people bail out of trailer at San Antonio truck stop
- Unlicensed driver arrested after 60 illegal immigrants discovered inside trailer
Please do everything you can to prevent cargo theft!
And don’t take what doesn’t belong to you!
- Cargo theft in first quarter similar to same period in 2020
- Cargo theft incidents down slightly year-over-year, CargoNet reports
- Common sense, caution offer protection against cargo theft
- Trucker pleads guilty to fraud after collecting over $80,000 in disability benefits
- Trucking manager stole, sold $600,000+ in truck tires to “facilitate his drug addiction”
Seek to avoid violence every time you can.
Well, it looks like if the federal government won’t take the leadership regarding protests on highways, it is up to the states!
8. Regarding economy, employment, shortage and team driving:
These are the latest articles about the economy within or affecting the trucking industry.
- April Class 8 Orders Cool; Supply Chain Woes Persist
- April Class 8 truck orders: Too much of a good thing?
- Daily Infographic: Q1 2021 Earnings Comparison
- Expeditors paying more to move freight but has solid quarter
- Lumber Hits Record on Tight Supply, High Demand
- New truck orders remain ‘above normal’ as fleets jockey for build slots
- Seller’s market for transport services may last through 2023, mega-bull Mehrotra says
- The best quarter ever’ for container shipping giant Maersk
- Transportation capacity ‘historically low’; prices ‘show no sign of slowing’
- Truck, trailer orders strong despite supply chain struggles
- Trucking Growth Expected to Be Strong Amid Recovery, Expert Says
- Jobless Claims Fall More Than Forecast to Pandemic Low
- Jobs report shows getting drivers into the pool remains a struggle
- News alert: April jobs in trucking down by one measure, up in another
- Trucking employment down in April, but up for the year
Is there really a trucker shortage?
Or is there really a lack of pay for the tasks being done?
- Holistic approach helps shippers cope with driver shortage
- Shortage of Truck Drivers Concerns California Ag Producers
9. Regarding technology and ELDs:
- Big tech and bureaucracy — At Your Doorstep
- New FMCSA Video Series Claims These Technologies Could Eliminate 75,000 Crashes, Save 500 Lives Per Year
- Ohio proposal would ban drivers from holding phones, electronic devices
- There is no room for technological stagnation in time-critical logistics
- Delayed regulation could have threatened entire ELD mandate, says CTA president
- No ELD penalties until June 2022, jurisdictions confirm
10. Regarding independent contractors, lawsuit, pay, rates and site audits:
A number of these articles may address AB5.
- Biden administration formally withdraws Trump rule on independent contractors
- California Trucking Association to Appeal AB 5
- California Trucking Association to request rehearing over AB5
- DOL officially withdraws rule to define independent contractor
- DOL withdraws ‘independent contractor’ rule; trucking industry weighs in
- Labor Dept.’s independent contractor rule withdrawn
- Labor Drops Contractor Rule
- U.S. Labor Department will withdraw worker classification rule
Finally, a state that seeks to limit liability.
- Texas House backs revised truck injury liability rules
- Texas House Passes Bill That Would Help Curb Lawsuit Abuses
- Growing carrier rolls out new pay package to reward drivers for their skill and professionalism
- How do you feel about base pay vs. bonuses?
11. Regarding infrastructure, REAL ID, recalls, TCA and turnaround:
- Biden Pushes for His Infrastructure Plan in GOP Stronghold
- In GOP stronghold, Biden pushes for his infrastructure plan
- McConnell says GOP open to $600 billion for infrastructure
- Mr. Fixit’: Biden rolls out plan to repair 20,000 miles of highways, 10,010 bridges
- New Poll Could be Big Warning Sign to President Biden and Democrats on Infrastructure Plan
The deadline has been pushed back again.
If you own a vehicle under a recall, please arrange to have that part/issue addressed as soon as possible.
- More than 10,000 Internationals covered by latest recall
- Navistar recalling thousands of International trucks for engine issue
- The Daily Dash: Navistar conducts second recall
From the carriers’ perspective.
- Safety, Retention, and the Bottom Line: Strong leadership is key to the success of any motor carrier
12. Regarding award and humor:
We congratulate those who have been recognized by their trucking companies.
- Perdue Farms driver Alvin Smith achieves 4 million accident-free miles
- Three finalists revealed for WIT’s Distinguished Women in Logistics Award
Funny messages on road signs on May 4, you may see!
- May the road check be with you – WTT [newsletter]
- Spot these “May the fourth be with you” themed highway signs today
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.