This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending May 29, 2021.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding Memorial Day, theft, inspections, and insurance:
Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of the summer vacation season.
As things start to get “back to normal” in some respects, more people will likely be on the roads during this weekend — and have their minds on fun and not on driving.
Some people may be driving vehicles much larger than those they normally drive.
While you should always drive defensively, please be alert to drivers and haulers of recreational vehicles and those transporting boats.
Also, if you have an appointment to pick up or deliver a load on Monday, May 31 (Memorial Day), you may want to double-check your appointment.
Finally, if your company pays holiday pay over the Memorial Day weekend — and if you intend to earn it — make sure you know all of the terms involved.
Here are the most recent articles about the holiday, what to expect, and below, some articles about the potential for cargo theft this weekend.
- 60% More Travelers for Memorial Day This Year, AAA Says
- Daily Infographic: Memorial Day Driving
- Long holiday weekend means more traffic, possible cargo theft spike
- Memorial Day weekend storms from Plains to Northeast
- Photos: Patriotic graphics from fleets around the country
- Photos: Patriotic rigs commemorate American heroes
- Significant increases to traffic, cargo theft activity expected for Memorial Day
- Upcoming Memorial Day holiday could mean increase in cargo theft
- Cargo theft activity likely to increase Memorial Day weekend
- Computer electronics thefts may spike in California as holiday approaches
- Sudden uptick in trailer thefts has SW Illinois police concerned
If you are always ready for a truck inspection, you’ll never be caught off-guard.
- CVSA’s Brake Safety Week set for August 22-28
- Here’s what Virginia troopers found during International Roadcheck blitz
- Multi-state trooper enforcement effort on I-55 kicks off on Wednesday
It is disturbing that insurance has become so politicized.
If you feel strongly about proposed changes to truck insurance, please contact your elected officials.
- Modernizing insurance will keep small fleets’ wheels turning
- OOIDA rallies members against Rep. Garcia’s Insurance Act
- OOIDA tells truckers to take action against 556% insurance hike
- OOIDA vs. 556% insurance hike – WTT [newsletter]
- Trucking recommendations emerge in report on ‘hard market’ for insurance
2. Regarding accidents, weather, bridges, and tunnels:
Please learn what you can from these articles so that you are never involved in an accident like the one described.
I have provided appropriate quotes for some of them.
- Beer-hauling trucker ends up in woods after swerving to avoid disabled pickupPlease be careful regarding “swerving” when you’re driving a large truck, as that kind of action often ends up in a crash.
- Drowsy driving causes crash that leaves semi truck burning on shoulder of interstateQuote: “A sleepy trucker lost control of [his] rig [around 4:09 a.m.] in Maine on Sunday, leaving a flaming rig burning on the side of the interstate.”
- NTSB Determines Cause of Fiery Big Rig Crash That Killed Five Children and Two TruckersQuote: “Additionally, the NTSB indicated [the trucker] failed to disclose all his medical conditions nor all the medications he was taking during his last medical certification examination.”
Always disclose the medications you’re taking when you get your DOT physical.
- Officers still investigating after driver killed losing control around curveSlow down before you enter a curve, not while you’re in it.
- Runaway tire causes double-semi crash that shuts down highwayPlease be sure to do thorough truck inspections, including on the lug nuts that hold your truck’s tires on the axles.
- Survey of motorists’ reckless behavior should be wake-up call for commercial fleets, Travelers saysQuote: “…an increasing number of drivers engaged in high-risk behavior that might seem incomprehensible to most American motorists. … 17% of respondents said they had shopped online while their vehicles were in motion, up from 8% pre-pandemic. About 19% said they took videos or pictures with their mobile devices while they were in motion, up from 10% before the pandemic, according to the survey.”
- Truck hauling at least 160 pigs overturns in area notorious for livestock trailer crashesQuote: “…this is the seventh Smithfield Foods truck hauling pigs to crash on Godwin Boulevard since 2008 – two of which happened in 2020.”
- VIDEO: Trucker tries to fit square truck through a round holeKnow the height and width of your truck at all times and never attempt to go through a tunnel or under a bridge that is a “low clearance” for your truck.
- VIDEO: When car hauling goes very, very wrongNo matter what you haul, make sure it is properly secured in or on your trailer.
- WATCH: A poor pallet decision caught on cameraTake into account the center of gravity of freight you load or unload!
- WATCH: Semi truck crash test demonstrates the importance of seatbeltsAs inconvenient and uncomfortable as they may be, wearing a properly worn seatbelt may keep you from being badly injured in the event of a crash.
- WATCH: Tractor trailer’s overeager turn ends badlyYou may wish to read the “Turns and Curves” section of our Safe Driving page.
- WATCH: Trucker drives straight into a whole bunch of nopeWatch out for decreased visibility due to blowing sand, blowing dust, blowing snow, any kind of precipitation, high winds, smoke, and fog.
- Phase 1 repairs to crucial Memphis bridge are complete
- Phase 1 repairs to I-40 Memphis bridge complete
- Tennessee lawmaker frustrated by Buttigieg’s I-40 bridge response
- Tennessee, Arkansas DOTs select repair strategy for I-40 Memphis bridge
- Work ‘well underway’ on Phase 1 repairs to I-40 Memphis bridge
- Pensacola Bay Bridge reopens after eight-month closure
3. Regarding drugs, smuggling, and clearinghouse:
Never haul illegal drugs, no matter how much money you are promised.
- 2.5M in meth discovered inside shipment of watermelons
- 3,765 Pounds of Marijuana Seized From Commercial Shipment of Plastic Containers
- Tractor-trailer owner sentenced for role in cocaine trafficking conspiracy
- Truck driver sentenced to nearly four years for trying to smuggle 8000 rounds of ammunition into Mexico
- Trucker caught smuggling nine migrants across border in wooden cageNever transport people the same way you transport freight, no matter how much money you have been offered.
- Truckers implicated in multimillion-dollar US-Canada tobacco smuggling ring
Never consume an alcoholic beverage or take a drug that impairs your cognitive function before you drive a commercial motor vehicle.
- Texas tops list for truck driver drug/alcohol violations
- The Daily Dash: Truck driver issues in Texas, Louisiana
4. Regarding technology, traffic alerts, chips, cameras, ELDs, and drones:
- 3 Reasons Why Not Having a TMS Makes Trucking Management Harder
- Colonial-level cyberattack on trucking likely — but preventable
- Data breach hits 44 big Canada Post shippers, exposing nearly 1M customers
- Freight brokers urged to increase security in light of pipeline cyberattack
- How telematics solutions improve the safety and security of fleet trucks
- Transflo Launches Subscription-Based ServiceIf you use this service, please write and submit a service review. Thanks.
- Truckers Work to Purge Systems of Banned Chinese Technologies, but Challenges RemainPotential hacking issues are at stake!
- What’s Driving Growth in the Commercial Telematics Market?
Are you in favor of in-cab traffic alerts systems like these?
Please comment through the form below.
- North Carolina DOT Pilots Trucking Alert System
- North Carolina DOT testing truck alert system to help prevent crashes
- North Carolina testing in-cab traffic alerts for truckers
My husband Mike and I saw the Stoneridge MirrorEye system in person at an NACV trucking event, as described here and I was quite impressed with how much more visibility was achieved over using standard truck mirrors.
Do you agree or disagree? Please comment below.
- Camera monitoring systems gain fleet favor as adoption grows
- DOT investigating safety of camera-based rearview mirrors
- Feds to study use of cameras instead of traditional rearview mirrors for truckers and motorists
If you cross the border between the USA and Canada, please be aware of the following:
Please be aware of this technology and the advances that are being made.
- Drones in the backyard: FAA grants home delivery to Flytrex
- Likely Growth in Drone Deliveries Prompts NTSB to Expand Its Purview
- Skycart ups ante with 4-drop delivery drone
5. Regarding trucker shortage, employment, trucker, and ATRI:
- Borderlands: Driver shortage affecting cross-border trucking
- NPR’s Planet Money pokes holes into truck driver shortage claims
- Attracting a new generation to trucking — Taking the Hire Road
- Poll: What is most likely to make you want to look for a new job?
- Shifting perspective on what makes a quality driver
- ATRI Sets Research Agenda for 2021
- ATRI’s 2021 Research Priorities Include Young Drivers, Electric Trucks
- Young drivers, electric trucks and pot among institute’s research priorities
6. Regarding AB5 and waiver:
This California law impacts truckers and gig economy workers alike.
- California Trucking Association seeks rehearing on AB5
- State trucking association wants court to re-hear AB 5 case
- COVID-related waivers extended through Aug. 31
- Drivers with expired CDLs, CLPs, med cards, get another break from FMCSA with COVID waiver extension
- FMCSA again extends the 50 state COVID-19 Hours of Service waiver
- FMCSA extends CDL waivers through August
- FMCSA extends COVID-19 emergency declaration through August
- FMCSA Extends COVID-19 Relief Waivers For Expired CDLs, CLPs, and Medical Cards
- FMCSA Extends Historic H.O.S. COVID-Relief Waiver But It May Not Last Much Longer
- FMCSA will extend its COVID-19 waivers
7. Regarding economy and home improvement:
These are the most recent articles about the economy from the trucking industry perspective.
- ACT Research shows less trailer orders in April with production constraints
- April retail sales were excellent (for freight markets)
- April trailer orders slide but blow away near-zero builds a year ago
- Average Price for Used Class 8 Sets All-Time Record
- Canadian spot market load volumes remained healthy in April
- Consumers Boosted Spending by Just 0.5% in April
- DAT Truckload Volume Index slips 5% in April, falling from all-time high in March
- Lower availability, higher prices for new Class 8 trucks can be expected
- Shippers experiencing toughest conditions on record: FTR
- Trucking rates have never been better: ACT Research
- US Consumer Confidence Falls as Job, Income Prospects Ebb
You may be aware that the increase in the U.S. money supply has led to a great deal of inflation — and some would call it hyperinflation.
8. Regarding electric vehicles, fuel, emissions, and autonomous vehicles:
There has been a huge push for electric vehicles within the last few years.
- For Tesla Owners, Colonial Pipeline Hack Was No Big Deal
- Ford: EVs to Be 40% of Global Sales by 2030
- Walmart testing branded EVs for last-mile deliveries
While there may be an upside to electric vehicles, there are also downsides to both people and the environment, the latter of which many federal elected officials claim to care about.
In VIDEO: Using the Environment to Strip Your Freedom, we hear:
From the Green New Deal to Agenda 2030, to the Great Reset, a radical environmental movement threatens the very lifestyle you choose to lead.
The issue of placing the environment before people is disturbing and that trend is growing.
In VIDEO: Will the Bill of Rights be Lost?, we hear:
Do you know how long it takes to recharge one of those [electric cars]? Can you imagine the lines that would ensue at charging stations once everyone has an electric car? Your freedom of movement would be greatly curtailed just because of the time it takes to recharge your car.
Unless there is some way of greatly decreasing the time it will take to charge a vehicle — or a reliable portable charging device is installed on vehicles — the time it takes to recharge one and recharging accessibility will be factors for electric trucks.
Now, though you won’t hear it from mainstream media, it has long appeared that the electric-car movement is a scam. In 2013, I reported on former electric-auto engineer Ozzie Zehner, who once was a plug-in advocate but now says “I was wrong.” His point is that contrary to the hype, electric vehicles pollute more than their gasoline counterparts.
Zehner also mentions, among other things, that electric-car batteries contain elements whose extraction from the earth imperils workers and surrounding communities. This brings us to the current story, which involves the claim that one of these elements, cobalt, comes from African slave labor.
If you ever thought that the lockdowns of 2020 were bad, consider what would happen if most of the vehicles on the road were electric and some bureaucrat decided to shut down the power.
Just remember what happened in Texas in February 2021.
Please carefully evaluate all of these things before investing in an electric truck.
- Cummins to Build Hydrogen Equipment Factory in Spain
- Diesel price surge begins to slow Fuel prices Land Line
- Diesel Up Slightly as Summer Travel Season Kicks Off
- DOE/EIA diesel up less than half-cent as market shows signs of stalling
- Green Hydrogen Seen Fueling Heavy Trucks, Buses by 2030
I totally oppose autonomous, driverless, and self-driving Commercial Motor Vehicles, but share these articles as a courtesy to help you stay current with this news.
- Aurora Expands Autonomous Trucking Tests in Texas
- Autonomous TuSimple truck collects evidence from hit-and-run crash
- Daimler Trucks Pursues Dual-Track Autonomous Strategy
- Driverless Truck Company Claims 1,500-Mile Trips Will Soon Take ‘Less Than 24 Hours’
- Kodiak Robotics To Bring Autonomous Trucking Tech to Asia
- Looking Ahead to Autonomous Trucking
- Self-driving truck company claims rig shaved 10 hours off 24-hour test trip
- Self-driving vehicles still worry motorists
- Some Self-Driving Truck Developers Make Case for Supervised Autonomy
- Tesla Tests Lidar, Which Musk Once Scorned
- TuSimple partners with AWG, Giumarra Companies to ‘revolutionize’ fresh-produce transport
- TuSimple’s big plan isn’t simple at all
- VW and Argo Will Turn ID. Buzz Vans Into Robo-Taxis
- When Will Trucks Drive Themselves?
9. Regarding speed, operations, capacity, borders, ports, and containers:
If the idea of putting speed limiters on commercial motor vehicles in the USA disturbs you, please contact your elected officials.
- Lawmakers introduce bill to require speed limiters on semi trucks
- Legislation mandating speed limiters resurfaces in House
- Safety ratings at risk for violators of proposed speed limiter law
- Speed limiter mandate introduced in U.S. House; OOIDA vows to oppose
- Truck Speed-Limiter Bill Introduced in House
This is the first time I’ve seen this term used.
- Cross-border freight in March sets a record high
- FAST lanes for commercial trucks planned at World Trade Bridge
- ‘FAST’ lanes to cut down on truck congestion at World Trade Bridge
- California’s massive container-ship traffic jam is still really jammed
- Largest Containership Hits East Coast as Ports See Surge
10. Regarding VMT, tolls, surcharges, taxes, and shipping:
This is one of those rare times when otherwise bitter enemies — the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) — agree on an issue.
If this issue is a concern to you, please contact your state and federal elected officials.
- ATA, OOIDA join forces to slam truck-only tax proposal
- ATA, OOIDA Letter Strongly Opposes Cornyn’s Trucks-Only VMT Idea
- ATA, OOIDA unite in opposition to truck-only tax
- OOIDA & ATA team up to combat ‘deeply concerning’ truck-only $0.25 VMT tax plan
- Senator’s suggested 25 cent per mile truck-only tax called ‘an assault on the trucking industry’
- Trucking Advocates Push Back on Truck-Only Tax Proposal
- Truck-only VMT tax egregious, trucking groups say
- FedEx delivering higher surcharges June 21
- FedEx, UPS and peak surcharges — Great Quarter, Guys
- The Daily Dash: FedEx raising its fees
- In California, Gas Taxes Are Rising While Repairs Are Lagging
- Missouri fuel tax increase faces referendum challenge
Watch out for “free shipping” options that make truckers’ work seem worthless.
11. Regarding repairs, tires, and self-defense:
- Out-of-Network Repairs Help Dealerships Nurture New Relationships With Fleets
- Tanker repair company owner pleads guilty to HMTA, OSHA violations
Have you noticed a difference between “low rolling resistance” tires and other tires on your truck?
If so, please write and submit a product review.
- Senators introduce concealed carry bill that would make it easier for OTR truckers to defend themselves
We congratulate Don Cook for having achieved 4 Million Accident-Free Miles [While] Still Trucking at 79!
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.