This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending July 3, 2021.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding July 4th holiday, discount, and theft:
Please watch out for opportunities to save and lose money, freight and more this weekend!
Don’t let your guard down.
July 4th holiday
- July 4th travel expected to set new record; 43.6 million to hit the highway
- Seasonality pushing rejections and rates higher ahead of the Fourth
- Tennessee lifting construction-related closures for holiday weekend
- Truckers to Face Major Delays as Record Number of Americans Will Hit The Road This July 4th
- Active Military and Vets Eat FREE at TA-Petro on July 4th, Love’s Opens Two New Stops
- Pilot creates discount program for military veterans & families
- Truck stop chain to feed active military & veterans for free on July 4
- Truck stop chain to offer year-round 10% discount for veterans, active duty military & family
Long holiday weekends are a favorite for thieves to hit upon parked trucks and the freight on-board!
- CargoNet warns of heightened cargo theft risk on Fourth of July
- Fourth of July Holiday Heightens Risk of Freight Theft
- July Fourth Poses Increased Risk for Cargo Thefts
- Long holiday weekend = Increased chance of cargo theft
- South Dakota man faces federal charges for allegedly stealing fuel truck, taking it across state lines
2. Regarding insurance, inspections, safety, maintenance, oil, prevention, and recalls:
If you are an owner-operator or independent trucker — and the thought of higher insurance irritates you — please let your federal elected officials know!
- Bevy of trucking groups call for removal of insurance hike from House highway bill
- House Democrats succeed in boosting trucking insurance to $2 million
- INSURANCE Act is reintroduced in Congress, but carriers can stay ahead of legislation
- The Daily Dash: Trucking insurance gets a boost
- Truck insurance increase would hurt entire economy, coalition says
- Trucking groups seek removal of liability insurance hike from House highway bill
- U.S. House Expected to Pass Bill That Would Impose Huge Insurance Hike on Truckers
- U.S. House Ignores Pleas From Truckers and Passes Bill to Impose Huge Insurance Hike
Be aware of higher tech ways to inspect trucks.
Also, please realize that the best way to be ready for an inspection is to keep your truck — from the nose of your tractor to the bumper on your trailer — always ready for an inspection.
- Latest Drivewyze offering speeds up inspection process at weigh stations
- Nebraska weigh stations deploy tech that can detect a semi’s flat tire at 75 MPH
- Pennsylvania Senate backs local speed radar use
- The Daily Dash: Fast-tracking through weigh stations?
- Yes, that week-long driver crackdown is less than two weeks away
In this section, there is an article about “slower driving” being “safer driving” — a concept that can be taken too far!
When my husband Mike and I drove for Swift decades ago, all of their company trucks were governed at 57 miles per hour.
It can be a major hazard for a truck to be driven at 57 mph when the maximum speed limit on that road is posted at 70, 75, or 80 miles per hour!
Drive based on conditions, too, slowing down when (among other factors):
- visibility is lower; and
- precipitation has fallen or is falling.
Just because the speed limit is higher doesn’t mean you need to be driving that fast.
- 7 Elements of an Effective Fleet Safety Program
- Creating a Safety-First Culture for Today’s Technicians
- Slower driving is safer driving
- Tips for a Safe Long Distance Move by Verified Movers
Get to know your rig, treat her well along maintenance lines, and she’ll treat you well!
- How Engine Oil Choice Can Make Your Fleet More Profitable – Maintenance
- Setting Truck Maintenance Labor Cost Expectations – Maintenance
- Technicians Keep Fleets on the Road – Maintenance
Often, the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding oil specifications and drain intervals is the best way to go.
If you have found that the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding oil don’t work so well for your truck, would you please contact us through the form below and let us know the details?
- Key US Oil Storage Hub Seen Depleting as Producers Hold Tight
- Low Viscosity Oils: Protecting Equipment and your Pocketbook
- Oil Refiners Win Easier Waivers on Biofuel
If your truck has been recalled, please attend to getting the necessary work done as soon as possible.
- 122K Freightliner Cascadias, Western Star trucks recalled for possible engine stall defect
- Daimler recalls 122,056 heavy-duty trucks for possible loss of electric power
- Daimler Trucks recalls more than 100,000 Freightliner, Western Star trucks
- Mercedes-Benz Launches Recalls for Almost 40,000 Sprinter, Freightliner Vans
- NHTSA Launches Interactive, Searchable Recall Dashboard
- NHTSA website simplifies access to recall information
3. Regarding rates, taxes, VMT, tolls, economy, consumer, trade deficit, inflation, and Christmas:
- Elevated spot rates remain high ahead of July 4
- Spot rates steady last week as volume dips Products & Services Land Line
“VMT” stands for “Vehicle Miles Traveled,” which is a taxing mechanism.
While a tolling concept works in many places, VMT would theoretically tax all of the miles a vehicle is driven or hauled.
If the idea of imposing a truck-only VMT bothers you, please contact those who need to know — in order to object!
- A system that works: As VMT research continues, a federal fuel tax hike is a viable solution
- ATA, OOIDA decry Connecticut’s new vehicle miles traveled truck tax
- Connecticut governor signs controversial truck miles tax into law
- Transportation funding plan with truck tax now law in Connecticut
- M-CORES toll program in Florida is officially dead
- Nationwide Toll Management: Challenges and Opportunities for Fleets
These articles cover aspects of the economy from the trucking industry’s perspective.
- ACT Research: Analysts predict Class 8, freight markets will be ‘as good as it gets’ in Q3
- Average Used Class 8 in May Brings High Price
- C.H. Robinson still charging ahead after 654% growth in renewables business
- Cross-border freight in April sets record high year-to-year increase
- Trans-border freight hit $30 billion in April
- US Economy Grows 6.4% in Q1
- Consumer Spending Flat in May
- Rising consumer confidence, falling demand for goods — Great Quarter, Guys
- Spiking consumer demand for sustainability makes visibility-tech a must
- US Factory Expansion Is Solid; Price Gauge Highest Since 1979
- Trade Deficit Increased to Second Biggest on Record in May
- US Goods-Trade Gap Widens More Than Forecast as Imports Rise
4. Regarding roads, bridge, and congestion:
- Daily Infographic: Most Dangerous Highway Stretches for Truckers
- Left lane rule changes coming to four states
- Truckers fume as Alabama detours them from I-10 tunnel
- Viewpoint: The interstate system turns 65 — it’s time to modernize it
- Worst traffic and highways ranked by state
- Arkansas Trucking Association: Daily cost of I-40 Memphis bridge closure to trucking industry decreases sharply
- Cameras installed to track I-40 bridge repairs, I-55 bridge traffic
- I-40 Bridge Closure Daily Cost to Trucking Decreases Sharply
- Just a crack? Fracture in I-40 Memphis bridge brings critical discussion of declining infrastructure
5. Regarding 2290, AB5, and PRO Act:
- AB 5 injunction in effect with case headed to SCOTUS
- An update on AB5 from ‘Live From Exit 24’ OOIDA Land Line
- Jeopardized business model: PRO Act may not have pros for independent contractors
- President Biden and Democrats Moving Full Speed Ahead on Plan to Pass I/C Wipeout Bill
6. Regarding technology, drones, autonomous vehicles, aerodynamics, and emissions:
While technology can be a good thing, there is a point beyond which one should rely upon it.
A good example of this is following one’s GPS unit — even one that is geared for commercial motor vehicles — when stationary road signs or traffic enforcement personnel direct drivers otherwise.
- Chip Shortage Will Get Worse, Intel CEO Says
- Cops share dash cam to help find Toyota driver who caused big rig rollover
- Dash cam video reportedly shows the moment that D.C. pedestrian bridge collapses
- How artificial intelligence and machine learning are benefiting fleets
- Solid-state batteries could turn conventional lithium-ion obsolete
- What You Need to Know About Cybersecurity in Trucking
- Why a trucking company called a lawyer minutes after a ransomware attack
I am including this section to help you stay up-to-date on delivery of items by drone.
- Alphabet Jumps Into Drone Air-Traffic Control With Flight App
- Without changes, warehouses could ground drone deliveries
- Zipline’s drone delivery of pharmaceuticals earns $2.75B valuation
I am adamantly opposed to driverless, self-driving and autonomous vehicles, but am sharing these articles to help you stay current with the news in the trucking industry.
I will say that I am glad that crashes involving autonomous vehicles are now being addressed.
- Daimler, Navistar, Volvo ordered to report autonomous truck crashes
- Geek+ surpasses 20,000 autonomous robots deployed
- NHTSA mandates crash reports from automated vehicle companies
- NHTSA Orders Automated Vehicle Makers to Report Crashes
- NHTSA orders crash reporting
- NHTSA Orders Makers of Advanced and Self-Driving Tech to Report Crashes
- NHTSA orders makers, operators of automated vehicles to report crashes
- NHTSA Seeks Accountability, Transparency on ADAS-Related Crashes
- Tech Giants Make Push Into Autonomous Driving
- The Daily Dash: Don’t ignore autonomous truck crashes
- Truck Talk: Autonomous patent edition
- Why the first movers in autonomous trucking have the edge
In order for a vehicle to have “no emissions” or “zero emissions,” doesn’t it have to be the type that:
- either “doesn’t burn fuel”
- or burns a specific kind of fuel efficiently?
Here are the latest articles on this topic:
- Daimler Moves Toward Zero-Emission Future with eActros in Europe
- How Daimler Truck Plans to Reach Zero Emissions [Video]
7. Regarding accident, staged accidents, drugs, smuggling, and illegal:
Please learn from these reports of accidents what went wrong — and strive continuously not to put yourself in a similar set-up.
- Four rig pile up caused by trucker who “wasn’t sure” if the rig ahead of him was moving or not
- Semi truck driver and passenger killed in collision with train
- Smugglers’ Notch continues to snag truckers
- Survivor recounts the moment a DC bridge collapsed around her
- Trailer floating in Columbia River after trucker takes a terrifying ride down an embankment
- Truck Driver Killed After Crashing Through Highway Guardrail and Down Steep Embankment
- Truck Driver to Blame For Washington D.C. Bridge Collapse, Police Say
- Truck may have struck pedestrian bridge that collapsed in DC Wednesday
- Trucker arrested on suspected DUI following “intense” truck fire
- UPDATE: Driver of ‘intensely’ flaming semi truck had consumed beers, THC, and didn’t know where he was going, police say
- Vermont Officials Continue Effort to Keep Trucks Out of Smugglers’ Notch
- VIDEO: Driver swears “never again” after this near-miss with a train
- VIDEO: Truck driver tries to take a shortcut though a grassy median. It does not go well.
- Winnipeg truck driver to serve 8 years for fiery crash
Vindication continues to occur as a result of this scam.
May all of the truckers and trucking companies that were targeted be recompensed!
- 2 defendants in Louisiana staged accident case each get 4 years in prison
- 2 more enter guilty pleas in Louisiana staged accident scheme
- Couple Get 4 Years in Prison for 2015 Staged Truck Accident
- Husband and wife sentenced to 4 years for staged semi crash scheme resulting in $4.7 MILLION settlement
- Operation Sideswipe’: Feds announce two more guilty pleas
- Staged crashes amendment rejected from House highway bill
- The Daily Dash: Staged accident scheme update
- Two more plead guilty in Louisiana’s ‘Operation Sideswipe’ insurance scam
- Two sentenced, two more plead guilty in Louisiana staged-accident fraud scheme
Never consume drugs or drink alcohol prior to driving a commercial motor vehicle!
People are not cattle or freight!
Never agree to smuggle human beings, no matter how much incentive you are offered!
It is never right to lure someone for evil purposes!
- Trucker convicted after luring minors with offers of ‘free cross-country trips’
- Trucker convicted of transporting children to engage in sexual activity
8. Regarding employment, food, and ports:
- Daily Infographic: Trucking jobs finally show strong growth
- Job Growth Surges Most in 10 Months, Jumping Past Forecast
- State Jobless Claims Post Larger-Than-Expected Decline
- Trucking employment has strongest month of 2021 in June
- Trucking employment up in June, but with a few caveats
- Food service providers struggle to keep up with reopening of America
- Labor, Food Shortages in Supply Chain Take Toll on Restaurants
9. Regarding risk, regulations, and teens:
Those who have studied the subject know that a human’s brain does not fully develop until around age 26.
While some younger people may be more “mature” than older people, for the most part, the reason why teenagers’ auto insurance rates are higher is because:
- either they tend to take more risks than older drivers;
- or they simply don’t have the same driving experiences as older drivers.
I oppose teenagers being allowed to drive commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).
10. Regarding idling, parking, and weather:
For more information on this topic, check out the 9-page series on idling on our site.
- Minneapolis moves forward with controversial semi truck parking ban
- Ontario truck parking initiatives an ‘insult’, says study author
- Truck parking ban idea in Minneapolis is shortsighted
Among the articles listed in this section are those covering an astronomical towing bill for a truck stranded in flood waters.
While I am not at all in favor of price gouging, I have to ask if the trucker or trucking company asked in advance for a price quote from the towing company.
How long does it take for a truck motor to be partially or fully submerged in water to no longer work or permanently fail?
If the flood waters were going to subside quickly, why not just wait until after they subsided in order to get help?
More importantly, was there any kind of weather forecast that flooding would take place in that area — so as to let truckers know not to drive in flood-prone areas?
- Flood waters left dozens of semis stranded on I-94 in Detroit
- Flooding continues to shut down I-94 in Detroit and Dearborn
- Owner Outraged After Hit With Almost $9,000 Bill to Tow Big Rig Stranded in Historic Flood
- Part of I-94 in Detroit and Dearborn to reopen after flood
- Trucking company appalled at $9,000+ bill for post-flood tow
- Wildfires Force Closure of Stretches of Interstate and Highway in Oregon
11. Regarding fuel, shortage, and statistical life:
- Diesel Hits $3.30 a Gallon After 1.3¢ Climb
- Driver Scarcity Could Result in Spot Fuel Shortages
- Everywhere you look, diesel prices are up
- Fleet Sustainability: Using Biodiesel to Drive Success
- Hydra Energy to build hydrogen fueling station in B.C.
- New streak underway: DOE/EIA diesel price up 9th straight week
- Nikola invests $50M to make hydrogen fuel in the Midwest
- U.S. fuel retailers, truck stops push back against EV charging at rest areas
So, learn how to separate the myths from the facts.
- Double whammy: Tanker truck driver shortage, combined with pipeline and freight route disruption, is ‘bigger than gas’
When I wrote a guest blog on August 1, 2013, about the at-that-time proposed Hours of Service regulations change:
- the FMCSA stated that the new regulations “will save 19 lives … each year,”
- while ATRI said that the new regulations would “cost the industry $189 million a year collectively.”
So, I divided the cost by the number of lives in order to get the “value” of each person whose life would supposedly be saved:
$189,000,000 / 19 people = $ 9,947,368.42 per person
Now that value has been increased…
What I don’t understand is why truckers’ lives are not valued as highly.
12. Regarding award:
Congratulations to all truckers who have been recognized, honored, or otherwise awarded!
Let’s hope that all award winners will remain humble and helpful.
- 2021 Shipper of Choice profile: Campbell Soup Company
- 4 drivers have opportunity win a new truck from Landstar
- 4 drivers inducted into private fleet hall of fame
- Erb Transport’s Boehler named safety professional of the year
- Go Safely Award established by OOIDA, Shell Rotella
- Highway Heroes: Goodyear Recognizes Trucker Super Samaritans
- Landstar All-Star Truck Giveaway finalists named OOIDA Member
- National Carriers names Kenny Hume May Driver of the Month
- Nominations sought for Transition Trucking award
- Thank a Trucker program to recognize Drivers of the Month
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.