This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending May 22, 2021.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding Memorial Day, bridge, roads, and congestion:
The weekend just before Monday, May 31, 2021, is Memorial Day weekend.
The holiday is dedicated to honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
In the past, this weekend has been the historical beginning of summer vacation — and, hence, there is typically more traffic on the roads because of people going on vacation.
The AAA auto club estimates that more than 37 million people will “travel at least 50 miles from home during the holiday weekend, up 60% from last year, which was the lowest since AAA began keeping records in 2000.”
Here are some tips for truckers who will be picking up or delivering a load on Memorial Day.
- Tips on Memorial Day Weekend Driving in a Big Truck
- Double-Check Your Memorial Day Delivery Appointment
The big news this week is that a major crack or break was discovered on a bridge on I-40 at the Arkansas-Tennessee state line.
If you are traveling through that area, please make alternative travel arrangements.
- ARDOT: 2019 inspection showed ‘evidence of damage’ on I-40 bridge; river traffic flowing again
- Crucial Memphis bridge will remain closed for at least a month and a half, officials warn
- Hernando de Soto Bridge closure may cost trucking industry $2.4M a day
- How much does I-40 bridge closure cost trucking?
- I-40 bridge at Memphis likely closed for several months
- I-40 bridge closure costing trucking millions daily
- I-40 Bridge Closure Estimated to Cost Trucking $2.4M Per Day
- I-40 bridge over Mississippi River to remain closed indefinitely
- I-40 Bridge Shutdown Could Last Months
- Inspector that failed to notice crack in crucial I-40 bridge has been fired
- Kayaker’s photos show crack in closed I-40 bridge in 2016
- Mississippi River Reopens, Freeing Over 1,000 Stuck Barges
- Republican senator calls for ‘urgent’ approach to shutdown of I-40 bridge at Memphis
- Republicans spotlight bridge repair in $400B highway bill
- Scandal is Brewing After 2019 Photo Emerges of ‘Crack’ in I-40 Mississippi River Bridge
- States Mobilize to Repair I-40 Bridge, but Closure Likely to Remain for Months
- Stunning New Photos of ‘Crack’ in I-40 Bridge Just Might Send Chills Up Your Spine
- With I-40 Mississippi River bridge closed, backup route gets inspection
- Florida’s Interstate-4 is Deadliest Highway in Nation
- Portion of Highway 12 in Minnesota closes for 4 months
2. Regarding inspection, insurance, and recall:
Please be ready for a truck inspection at any time, not just before announced major truck blitzes.
- 2021 Brake Safety Week is August 22-28
- Announced truck inspection blitzes make lasting gains, researchers say
- Brake Safety Week dates announced
- Brake Safety Week scheduled for August
- Brake Safety Week set for Aug. 22-28. Will you be ready?
- Brake Safety Week to Focus on Brake Hoses in August
- Brake Safety Week turns focus to hoses and tubing
- CVSA details area of emphasis for upcoming week-long brake safety blitz
- Here’s what went on in one state during recent enforcement blitz
If proposed legislation regarding insurance bothers you, please express your views to your elected officials.
- eBook: 10 ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TODAY to Avoid Skyrocketing Insurance Premiums
- Insurance Act’s latest version calls for 556% increase
If you drive a vehicle that has been recalled, please attend to the issue as soon as possible.
3. Regarding cyberattack and fuel:
- Colonial Pipeline confirms it paid $4.4M to hackers
- Colonial Pipeline says it’s ‘fully operational’
- Gas Crunch From Cyberattack Intensifies in DC
- Overweight Fuel Loads Allowed in States Affected by Pipeline Shutdown
- Tanker truck driver shortage, combined with pipeline disruption, could continue to impact gas prices
- The Daily Dash: No more gas lines?
- Diesel Supply Outages Easing at Major Truck Stop Chains
- DOE/EIA diesel price up; now highest since 2018
- Drilling Deep: Diesel in the wake of Colonial; KeyBanc’s Fowler on Q1
- Drilling Deep: Striving for fuel efficiency as diesel price rises
- Granholm: Fuel Crisis Is Near Its End
- Red-hot renewable diesel encouraging producers to buy into upstream supply chains
- Renewable Diesel, Biodiesel Cut GHG Emissions in California
- Reports show higher diesel prices
4. Regarding accidents, distracted driving, and health:
Please learn what you can from the accidents described in these articles so that you are never involved in one like them.
- Video captures exact moment luxury car accidentally slips off carrier
- Watch as this trucker tries (unsuccessfully) to beat an oncoming train
- WATCH: Low bridge creates the perfect peel
- If employers help improve drivers’ health, it will pay off in the long term
- Lose weight and move freight with this trucker inspired workout
5. Regarding technology, chip, privacy, and PRO Act:
- Dispatch to ELD App: Cut out your communication problems
- FreightWaves LIVE: Are you using tech effectively?
- Manufacturing’s old school vs. new school: Which one are you?
- Roadside Inspection Report: What Is It? How Does an ELD Help You?
Can’t someone somewhere start manufacturing these chips?
- China Bill to Include $52 Billion for U.S. Chip Manufacturing
- Chip shortage or crisis? Semiconductor issue illustrates the difference
- Chip shortage will be with us a long while; Hyundai invests over $7B in US
If proposed legislation regarding insurance bothers you, please express your views to your elected officials.
6. Regarding economy, employment, terminology, final mile, and holiday:
These articles show a snapshot of the economy as it pertains to the trucking industry.
- April Trailer Orders Drop to 10-Month Low; Costs, Cancellations Rise
- DAT: Truckload Volume Slips in April
- Flatbed leads owner-ops into year of rosy earnings expectations
- Freight continues to flow in, capacity does not
- FTR: 2021 outlook strong amid driver shortage, inflation concerns
- Goods demand holding at high clip; carriers squeezing in spot market
- Late-model used truck prices go stratospheric
- Manufacturing Output Rose in April for Second Month
- Relationships key to navigating capacity crunch
- The Daily Dash: Historic prices for late-model used trucks
- The World Economy Is Suddenly Running Low on Everything
- Trailer orders decline as build slots fill up
- Trucking seeing ‘perhaps the strongest freight market ever’
- Truckload volumes still near-record highs, Freightliner issues recall over fuel leak
- U.S. truck tonnage shrinks in April, but outlook is strong
- Used truck pricing continues to appreciate
- Walmart Raises Forecast on Desire to ‘Get Out and Shop’
- Will rising warehouse and inventory costs feed trucking demand?
- Convoy: Any load can be drop-and-hook
- How is a semiconductor made?
- Shortage versus crisis: What’s the difference? — Transmission
Final mile (aka Last Mile)
- 13 KPIs that Define Last-Mile Delivery Success
- Drivers Key to Last-Mile Success
- FreightWaves LIVE recap: Final-mile challenges and opportunities created by pandemic
- Understanding the Last-Mile Delivery Market: Data, Trends, Opportunities
7. Regarding alcohol, drugs, smuggling, and sight:
Never drink alcohol and drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle!
Never take illegal drugs and drive a truck.
Never agree to haul illegal drugs, no matter how much of an incentive you are promised.
- Best way for owner-ops to be notified of a random drug test?
- Mexican Trucker Hauling Medical Supplies Charged in $5.5 MILLION Big Rig Meth Bust
- More than half a ton of marijuana discovered beneath trailer floor
- Over 1,200 lbs. of Marijuana Discovered Hidden in Floor of Big Rig Entering U.S.
- Truck driver busted for hauling $5.5. MILLION worth of meth in shipment of medical supplies
- Truck owner sentenced for smuggling $3.2 million worth of cocaine
- Trucker busted for hauling over $5.5 million worth of meth
- Unregistered, reckless trucker found using meth on side of road
Never agree to haul people like you would haul freight, no matter how much of an incentive there may be.
I am not in favor of this move.
In my opinion, professional truck drivers need two good eyes to drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle.
8. Regarding maintenance, treatment, intermodal, rates, tires, tolls, VMT, and theft:
- As demand remains steady, rates rise but number of drivers falls
- Automating rate contract management illuminates pathway to profitability
- Why stratospheric container rates could rocket even higher
- Capital Beltway project eliminates 30 miles of proposed toll roads
- How Toll Management Will Improve Fleet Operations
9. Regarding autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, and emissions:
I am totally opposed to autonomous, driverless, and self-driving Commercial Motor Vehicles, but share these articles as a courtesy to help you stay current with this news.
- Autonomous produce: TuSimple delivers watermelons 42% faster in pilot runIf we divide 900 miles by 14 hours (rounded down slightly), we get an average speed of 64.28 miles per hour over the entire trip.When I put those two cities into Google Maps, I am seeing (at the time this trucking commentary is being written) a distance of 978 miles with a drive time of 14 hours, 45 minutes.
I bear in mind that a trip of this length — given the federal Hours of Service regulations — would have to be handled by a team, which would have to stop at least once to swap drivers somewhere along the way.
I also bear in mind that this is a southern route, taken in May (not during a snowy time of the year).
Be watching out for more and more encroachments on human truckers in the southern USA in the days to come.
- California Places Tesla’s ‘Full Self-Driving’ Under Review
- Human-guided autonomous tech projected to save money, improve driver lifestyle
- Tesla was in autopilot mode when it stuck a patrol car, motorist says
- TuSimple/Navistar: 6,775 Reservations for Autonomous International LT Trucks
You will probably see over time the movement to replace all fuel-burning vehicles — four-wheel vehicles and large trucks — with electric ones.
Unless trucks are equipped with some kind of self-charging device, they will always have to go “somewhere” to get charged.
Bear in mind what happened in Texas earlier this year.
- 22 Questions to Answer Before Installing EV Charging Depots
- Electric-powered trucks rule moves ahead in Pennsylvania
- EV Startups Lose More Than $40 Billion After Taking SPAC Route Public
- First electric-only “Megawatt E-Truck Stop” to be built in California
- Lion Electric Announces U.S. Manufacturing Facility
- Lion Electric releases first quarterly results, has 817 vehicles on order
- Lion Electric Selected for Fleet Electrification Program
- Minnesotans W”
“eigh In on Vehicle Electrification Priorities, Barriers
- Rivian’s Tesla Alums Lead Charge as Debut Nears for First Three EVs
- Schneider targets 60% drop in CO2 emissions per mile by 2035
- Zero-emission rules accelerate fleet buying decisions
10. Regarding shipping, speed, supply chain, and utilization:
Watch out for ultra-low shipping services like this.
They may try to make up for the loss by shipping lots of volume
However, in my opinion, those who set ultra-low shipping rates do not respect the person in charge of picking up and delivering the package(s).
- Daily Infographic: Average Truck Speeds on Select Metropolitan Area Interstates
- Speed radar legislation advances in Pennsylvania State
11. Regarding lawsuits and nuclear verdicts, politics, and carbon:
Lawsuits and nuclear verdicts
- FedEx battles lawsuit over millions of undisclosed miles on resold trucks
- Texas Senate OKs Bill Aimed at Lawsuit Abuse
- Trucking Company Fights Back Against Nuclear Verdicts
- Drivers needed to transport nuclear weapons across US
- 200% duties on Chinese chassis ‘really big win’ for US manufacturers
- Bill to study changes in highway use introduced for the first time in 25 years
12. Regarding recognition:
Our big “thank you” goes every person who has ever tried to genuinely help a professional trucker.
- VIDEO: Police officer spends extra time patrolling near parked semi trucks to protect drivers from danger
- WATCH: Trucker does his best to save a rig going up in flames
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.