This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending September 25, 2021.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding economy, debt ceiling, taxes, and tolls:
The following are some of the most recent articles about the economy from the trucking industry’s perspective.
- ATA: Truck tonnage up for first time since March
- August Truck Tonnage Posts First Monthly Gain Since March
- Carriers head west for a modern-day gold rush — of freight
- Fed Likely to Signal a Pullback in Economic Support
- Freight markets remain strong, but first signs of clouds on the horizon
- Medium-Duty Sales Fall 6.5% in August for Second-Lowest Month of 2021
- Shippers should expect strained market into 2022
- Spot load volume returns to pre-holiday levels
- Truck tonnage rises slightly in August, demand remains strong
- Trucking conditions remain strong as drivers gradually return
- Up, up and away: Used truck prices keep soaring to records
- Used truck prices making, breaking records
One cannot keep borrowing forever!
- Congress Dancing on the Ceiling. Again.
- House Passes Debt Limit Suspension, Sets Up Standoff in Senate
- IRS hikes per diem rate for owner-operators
- Tolls, Taxes & Hours of Service: Government has a Dysfunctional Relationship with Truck Drivers
- Truck Mileage And Diesel Taxes Hurt Low-Income Families the Most
- Truckers Can Cash-In On IRS Meals & Lodging Deduction Increase
Always pay to use the toll roads upon which you travel.
If you feel that you’ve been overcharged, bring that to the attention of someone who can do something about it.
- Maryland tolls are inconsistent, overcharging, trucker claims
- PA Turnpike’s $104 million in unpaid tolls draws senators’ scrutiny
- Unpaid tolls on Pennsylvania Turnpike result in revenue bleed for state
2. Regarding FMCSA and deaths:
Once again, it appears that those in the Executive branch of the USA’s federal government have propped up part (FMCSA) of an unconstitutional department (DOT) — and have put at its head someone who has no trucking experience.
- At FMCSA hearing, Meera Joshi focuses on driver pay
- ATA Urges Confirmation of Meera Joshi to Lead FMCSA
- FMCSA boss nominee Joshi questioned at confirmation hearing
- FMCSA head commits to boosting oversight of trucking
- FMCSA nominee Joshi fields questions on congestion, driver pay, hours of service & especially safety
- FMCSA Nominee Testifies Before US Senate Panel Sept. 22
- Meera Joshi Promotes Autonomous Tech’s Safety
- Senate to discuss FMCSA administrator nomination
We know from the studies that many of the accidents involving large trucks are caused by the other motorist.
Many motorists are distracted while driving.
Some people have suggested ways on how to reduce distractions, including making it impossible for the driver to use a cell phone while driving.
If you were in charge, what would you do to maximize people’s freedom and yet reduce distracted driving accidents?
Please comment through the form below.
- Daily Infographic: 3 approaches working together to reduce roadway deaths to zero
- NTSB Chief Says 38,680 Traffic Fatalities Unacceptable
- Trucker found crushed between cab and trailer
Before exiting your truck, please remember to set the parking brake.
Our condolences go to the trucker’s family.
3. Regarding accidents, don’t do this!, smuggling, roads, and weather:
I hate the title of this article, as the crash didn’t send the car under the truck.
Rather, the car sliding toward the truck uncontrollably caused the crash.
Important phrases from the article regarding the car and its driver include: “wet conditions”, “condition of the tires” and “lost control.”
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 2.5 years since this accident happened.
Whatever happened to the right to a speedy trial?
Major lessons from this accident:
– Get some basics on how to drive in mountains before you drive there,
– Use an engine brake whenever you can on downhill mountain grades (except when there is precipitation falling or on the road), and
– Use an escape ramp if your rig is out of control.
Don’t do this!
This photo was posted in a private group on Facebook.
This is obviously a preventable accident as:
- The tractor trailer rig is 13’6″ high;
- The clearance is clearly marked as 12’0″ high; and
- 12’0″ is obviously lower than 13’6″.
For further reading:
- Low Clearance Bridges and Overpasses: How to Watch for and Avoid
- CMV GPS Low Clearance Report Form; Low Clearance Awareness Day
Never, ever haul people like they are cattle or cargo — no matter how much you are offered!
- 84 migrants discovered in 90′ degree trailer with plateless truck
- Semi truck hauling 131 migrants busted working in tandem with equally packed SUV
- Truck Driver to Face Charges After Arrested in Big Rig Human Smuggling Bust
- US Border Patrol agents stop tractor-trailer smuggling attempt
There have been quite a number of road closures lately, including those having to do with truck crashes.
If you have the technology, find and use suitable truck route detours.
- Calcasieu River Bridge shut down after truck fire
- Eastbound I-10 near New Orleans remains closed to truck traffic indefinitely following vehicle fire
- I-10 bridge partially reopens after semi truck fire
- Open container law diverts millions from Missouri roads
- Tractor-trailers banned from section of I-95; safety issue cited
- Flood threat keeps trucking across South this week
- Flooding rain, severe storms for truckers east of the Mississippi
- New York Faces New Flood Threat Just Weeks After Ida’s Havoc
4. Regarding electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, fuel, fuel cell, oil, and Run on Less:
Be aware of the pros and cons of going “straight electric power” in a truck.
It wasn’t defined in the article, but “BEV” means “Battery Electric Vehicle” or “Battery-Powered Electric Vehicle.”
- First Class 8 electric trucks headed for Texas
- Fleetmaster Express Plans Electric Fleet Transition
- Ford, Redwood to Partner on Recycling EV Battery Materials
- Retailers Face Challenges Installing EV Chargers
- Volvo adds fleet charging start-up to Innovation Lab
- WattEV, NFI Fleet and Charging Deals Bolster Electric Trucking
I adamantly oppose driverless, self-driving, or autonomous commercial motor vehicles on public roads shared with the motoring public, but am sharing these articles as a courtesy to help you stay current with the news on this topic.
- Aurora Debuts New Autonomous Trucking Hardware
- Aurora, PACCAR and FedEx team up to test autonomous trucks in Texas
- Embark, HP launch autonomous, electric drayage pilot
- FedEx partners with Aurora, Paccar in Texas autonomous hauls
- FedEx, Paccar, Aurora Launch Autonomous Trucking Pilot
- Ryder, Embark to Open Autonomous Transfer Points
- Self-driving trucks to haul FedEx loads along I-45 corridor in Texas as part of pilot program
- Waymo Via to Showcase Autonomous Tractor at Fleet Forward Conference
- California regulators predict 100 hydrogen fueling stations by 2023
- Diesel prices higher for nearly everyone this week
- Diesel Rises 1.3¢ to $3.385 a Gallon
- DOE/EIA diesel price up 1.3 cents to level last seen in October 2018
- Making the Case for Renewable Fuels in Trucking
- OPEC+ Can Proceed With Reviving Supply
- Eaton to Develop Heavy-Duty Truck Fuel Cell Technology
- Hino Debuts XL8 Fuel Cell Heavy-Duty Truck Prototype
Run on Less
According to the website for the North American Council for Freight Efficiency, there are “85 technologies [that] can help your fleet improve its freight efficiency” that are categorized as follows: Chassis, Idle Reduction, Operational Practices, Powertrain, Tires & Rolling Resistance, Tractor Aerodynamics, Trailer Aerodynamics, and Trailer General.
Electric Trucks and Autonomous Vehicles are listed on their Emerging Technologies page.
- NACFE Finds Many Fleets Could Run Electric Trucks Now
- NACFE Run on Less Results Shed Light on Truck Electrification
- NACFE to Announce Run on Less Results; HDT’s Jim Park Joins Panel
- Run on Less — Electric finds 5.2 million trucks could be electrified today
5. Regarding chains, innovation, inspection, and safety:
- Fines for Oregon tire chain law violations to double
- Oregon increases fine to nearly $900 for trucker chain law violations
- Oregon increasing fines for chains law violations
- Virginia inspection blitz places 32 trucks, 21 drivers out of service
- Virginia troopers net 376 violations during three day CMV blitz
6. Regarding emissions, carbon, presumption, and lawsuit:
While we all want to be good stewards of God has given to us, be aware that certain people and groups want to force all of us into technologies that do or can limit us.
One of the banners under which this is done is “climate change,” under the categories of “carbon” and “emissions.”
- ConocoPhillips Says Shell Deal Cuts Emissions
- Greenhouse gas emissions target on New York law
- Loblaw takes to the road with zero emissions
- OTA hails Ontario plan to integrate emissions, safety inspections
- Using Illegal Devices To Thwart Truck Emission Controls Not Worth The MPG
Quote from article: “Same-day last-mile provider GoFor hopes to solve the paradox of speedy and sustainable freight with its new strategy, Renewable Delivery, announced on Tuesday. The strategy boasts 10-for-1 carbon offsets, meaning GoFor purchases 10 miles of offsets for every mile its vehicles drive, and it will offer smart packaging, smart technology solutions and a fleet of zero-emissions electric vehicles to create a more efficient and eco-friendly last mile.
“What is a “carbon offset” and who really benefits from it?
According to a 2017 article: “Essentially, a ‘carbon offset’ involves a buyer (usually an individual, corporation, or government entity) who reduces his ‘carbon footprint’ by buying ‘X’ dollars-worth of ‘offsets’ that supposedly reduce ‘X’ tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. The offsets are commonly investments in wind farms, solar farms, forest replantation, and the like. Aside from the fact that most of these alleged offset projects are heavily subsidized by taxpayers and many don’t even exist (they are ‘planned’ projects that never get past the drawing board and promotional phases)…”
A 2014 article says that “carbon offsets” are a scam.
Quote from article: “Technically, a person caught moving a stranger’s car could end in a misdemeanor charge, but isn’t considered theft in any way in the city of LA…”
If the person into whose driveway the truck was attempting to turn is regularly having deliveries made, then he needs to make arrangements so that no vehicles are blocking the street in front of his place.
Oh, and the owner of the car that was moved should really lock it.
7. Regarding driver shortage, shortage, and oil:
- Driver Shortage Cure: Pay More and Treat Truckers Better
- Driver shortage especially tough on oil patch companies, tanker transporters
- Only a change in mindset will fix the ‘driver shortage’ industry expert claims
- The tentacles of tanker trucking’s driver shortage
- Werner tries to benefit from ‘driver shortage’ claims, OOIDA says
- Global Parts Shortage Slows Heavy-Duty Truck Production
- Parts Shortage ‘Detrimental’ to Traton Truck Sales
- Trailer connectivity tech advances as supply shortages crimp production
- VW’s Traton Flags Significant Sales Hit From Chip Shortage
- Worsening Chip Woes to Cost Automakers $210 Billion in Sales
8. Regarding technology, “skill” is illegal move, last mile, and business:
- Q&A: WiTricity CMO Amy Barzdukas on Wireless Charging for MD Trucks
- Truckers, Did Your ELD Go Down? Here’s What to Do!
- Wireless Charging Could Cut EV Fleet Costs in Half
“Skill” is illegal move
The video shows the driver of a commercial motor vehicle passing in a non-travel lane, first crossing over into an on-ramp, then using the shoulder or breakdown lane for passing — which is clearly an illegal move.
Oh, and passing on the right isn’t right.
- FRONTDoor Collective raises $7.5M for sustainable, last-mile delivery standards
- Project44 acquires last-mile tech company Convey for $255M
9. Regarding operations, hitchhiker, parking, and ports:
On our Safe Driving page, we show the location of “a mirror mounted above the window on the passenger side to see vehicles on that side of the truck that may or may not be visible in the other two mirrors on that side.”
Given this report of a hitchhiker clinging to the passenger side of a truck under the mirror, having one of these passenger-side mirrors mounted above the window might be a great idea!
Some truckers may prefer to have “mirrorless” technology on their trucks.
- Recent viral video of man clinging to moving semi may soon inspire new pre-check protocol, experts say
- Shirtless guy keeps hitching a ride on semis in Atlanta, videos show
- Containers Piling Up at Rail Yards Add to Port Strains
- Increased Number of Container Ports Shift to Zero-Emissions Vehicles
- Just how many containers of cargo are stuck off California’s coast?
- Pacific, Atlantic Ports Report Strong Growth in August Amid Tight Supply Chains
- Port Houston sets monthly cargo record in August
- Port of New Orleans sees mixed results for August cargo volume
10. Regarding rates, recalls, score cards, and supply chain:
- Climbing rates, detention times turn LTL fleets toward trailer tracking tech
- FedEx to Raise Rates the Most in Decade
- Shippers get new insights into spot market rates
If you drive a truck with a recall, please be sure to have your truck looked at as soon as possible!
- 123,481 Freightliner Cascadias recalled because steering linkage can separate
- Daimler issues major recall for Freightliner Cascadia models
- Freightliner Cascadia Trucks Recalled for Steering Issue
- More than 100K Freightliner Cascadias made in Mexico recalled for steering defect
- Over 105,000 Cascadias recalled; steering issue cited
- Steering issue prompts recall of over 100,000 Freightliner Cascadias
Who is going to compile the information in these scorecards and will they merely be a profit center for the compiler?
Will this become a “pay for a good score” type effort?
What transparency will the compiler have before attempting to list the transparency of the companies on the scorecards?
- CV demand remains strong; supply chain still restrained
- DOT asks truckers to weigh in on supply chain disruptions
- DOT wants feedback on supply chain challenges
- DOT wants truckers to answer these 13 questions about U.S. supply chain disruptions
- GM Plans ‘Substantial Shifts’ in Supply Chain
- New trucks built with new supply chains
11. Regarding COVID-19:
What we have witnessed since early 2020 has been increasing levels of tyranny, the most egregious of which has been an “order” for citizens to receive in their bodies one or more injections of substances that — as reported (on 9/20/2021) on the Vaccine Adverse Reporting System (VAERS) since the December 2020 rollout of COVID vaccines in the U.S. — have injured more than 700,000 people and resulted in nearly 15,000 deaths.
- Another Major Trucking Group Issues Dire Warning About Biden’s Vaccine Mandates
- Boosters and mandate could increase vaccine demand
- House Democrats Defeat Efforts to Stop Vaccine Passports for Interstate Travel
- Top White House Official Sounds Off On Vaccine Passports for Interstate Travel
- Truckers are once again trying to rally fellow drivers in a strike for medical freedom
- Trucking group warns that vaccine mandates could lead to ‘massive driver exodus’
12. Regarding award:
Congratulations to all of those who have achieved trucking milestones or other recognitions!
- A cheesehead’s guide to driving 4 million safe miles
- CFI driver Jon ‘Smitty’ Smith passes 5 million mile mark
- Roadrunner Freight names 2021 Drivers of the Year
- Veteran TMCSuperTech Competitor Wins Grand Title
If you are in the running for an award, we wish you well!
- 10 Military Vets in Running for Rookie Truck Driver Award Backed by Kenworth
- Nomination period open for Owner-Operator of the Year Contest
- Nominations open in search for top company driver, owner/operator
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.