This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending January 8, 2022.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding weather, accidents, near misses, and death:
There has been a lot of nasty weather in the USA this winter season! In some cases, snow has fallen so fast that state DOTs:
- either have not been able to keep up with plowing;
- or may have made matters worse, depending on what they have applied to the roads.
Please remember that no load is worth your life! No trucking company can force you to drive when it is not safe to do so. Please refer to these pages on our website:
- Refuse to Drive a Truck When These Situations Happen
- Whistle Blowing Truckers: STAA Law on Retaliation, Vindication
- Out of Service Truck: Trucker Stages a Showdown
- Captain of the Ship Policy and Unsafe Working Conditions
We also appreciate the kindheartedness of some truckers who helped out other motorists during the 16-hour backup along I-95 (and possibly other backups). Before you offer to provide food out of the trailer you are hauling, please get permission from your trucking company. Chances may be good that your company will be compassionate and say “yes,” but it is better to know upfront. You don’t want to give away possibly thousands of dollars’ worth of food and then be financially responsible for it because you didn’t ask first. Meanwhile, here are some of the most recent articles about weather — non-chronologically ordered — from trucking publications:
- “Deteriorating” Arkansas road conditions send truckers, four wheelers into ditches
- 1st snowstorm of season heading to South, Mid-Atlantic
- All stranded motorists rescued along I-95, highway now open
- Citizens blame extensive I-95 backups on poor communication by the government
- Closures remain on several Oregon highways after blizzard
- Desperate Motorists and Truckers Stranded on I-95 in Virginia Issue Pleas For Help
- Drivers stranded overnight as snowstorm and crashes shut down Virginia interstate
- Heavy snow closes roads in Washington and Oregon
- Heavy snow in Virginia strands hundreds on I-95
- ‘Livid’ Drivers Stranded on I-95 Call Out Governor and VDOT For Failure of Leadership
- Long I-95 backup cleared, but more snow & ice in forecast
- Major snowstorm hits nation’s capital, eastern U.S.
- Mountain passes closed in Washington due to snowstorms
- Ottawa trucker helps motorists stranded on I-95
- PennDOT issues vehicle restrictions for interstate ahead of winter storm
- Six rig pile-up tops off night of 500+ crashes on VA roadways
- Snow, rain, brings flood concerns to Pacific Northwest
- Storm blamed for barge crashing into Virginia transmission tower
- Tennessee DOT says it’s ready for winter weather
- These Aerial Views of Icy I-95 Nightmare Are ‘Astonishing’
- Trucker stranded on I-95 whips up a hot breakfast for fellow stranded motorist
- Truckers help feed stranded drivers on snowy I-95
- Trucker’s Small Act of Generosity on I-95 Inspires Huge Donation of Breakfasts to Feed Those in Need
- Truckers Stuck on I-95 Show Remarkable Kindness to ‘Tired, Frustrated and Hungry’ Motorists
- Virginia drivers stuck on I-95 for 24 hours plus
- What’s your 20? Recent winter storms show that CB’s still serve as lifeline for many truckers
Please learn from these accidents.
- Truck takes a cold plunge when driver confuses frozen lake for open fieldOne of our safe driving tips is knowing the “surface beneath” where your truck will be traveling.Do not assume that the surface upon which you’re traveling is solid.
- VIDEO: Pickup driver spins sideways while causing brutal 9 vehicle crash at intersection in North CarolinaIf your driver manager or anyone in your trucking company tells you that all accidents involving the truck you’re driving can be prevented by you, please show him/her the video embedded in this page.
- WATCH: 30 vehicle pile caught on drone in Kentucky
- WATCH: Truck hauling sawdust explodes into flamesThis accident was totally preventable: he took the turn too fast!
Some of these near misses are incredibly close!
- VIDEO: Drifting trucker makes a wild save on Chesapeake Bay BridgeIn my opinion, the trucker who made the “wild save” was traveling too fast for conditions.Furthermore, it didn’t look like he had his trailer under control until the last split-second (if, indeed, he had it under control at all).Bridges always tend to freeze before other nearby road surfaces freeze.
When there is snow and ice on the road, slow down!
- VIDEO: Impatient pickup driver’s pass almost ends in head-on collisionKudos to the trucker whose dash cam captured this video, for moving over a little to let this impatient motorist around.The “moving over” maneuver was only possible because there was enough shoulder to drive onto, there was nothing on the shoulder (like a broken down vehicle), and the maneuver was done in the daylight without any precipitation falling.
- VIDEO: Trucker doesn’t even hesitate crossing a waterfallThe person who wrote the article described this trucker’s actions as “serious bravery,” but one should never attempt to drive through standing or flowing water like this!
Our condolences go to the family of this trucker. However, I believe that his trucking company completely failed him with incomplete or the wrong kind of equipment! Because the overhead photo shows that there was
– no headerboard on the trailer and
– no headache rack on the tractor,
this trucker’s death was totally preventable! We wrote about a similar situation when a four-wheeler cut off a truck, forcing the trucker to slam on his brakes, which led to shifted lumber and a damaged headerboard. Flatbedders, don’t put your life at risk; always drive and haul the right kind of equipment for your load!
- Truck driver killed after load of steel penetrates cab
- Truck driver killed hauling load of steel sheet piles
- Trucker killed after being impaled by load of steel beams
2. Regarding 2021, top 5, top 10, COVID-19, and health:
I’ve covered this in past trucking commentaries, but to summarize: God gave each of us an immune system that can range from being weak to being strong — and it can be made stronger through a variety things including food and supplements. The microorganism S@RS-C0V-2 that is responsible for C0V!D-19 has never been (at least as of this writing) isolated and purified. If that is the case, how are people testing for it? They’re pretending through faulty tests or faulty testing. And how can there be a proper v@xxine for it? There can’t. Plus, millions of people around the world have experienced adverse events or have died as a result of taking one or more jabs, the ones in the USA having been documented here. In my opinion, if your trucking company does not respect you enough to let you make your own health choices without coercion or harassment, then it is time to go to one who will respect you!
- Are Truckers Really Exempt From Biden’s Vax Mandate or Not?
- Cathay Pacific restarts limited cargo service after COVID pause
- Supreme Court to hear vaccine case Jan. 7
- Supreme Court to Hear Vaccine Mandate Challenge This Week
- Truck driver vaccine mandates loom for cross-border operations
- Trucking Stakeholders ‘Optimistic’ SCOTUS Will Halt Biden’s Vax-or-Testing Mandate
- Vaccine mandate spurs legal challenges
- White House prioritizing imports of COVID-19 rapid tests
3. Regarding autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, emissions, and fuel:
I most definitely oppose the use of autonomous, driverless, or self-driving trucks on the roads with the motoring public, but share these articles as a courtesy to help you stay current with the topic. Before I list the articles, here’s an honest question: There are some states that have “snow removal” laws, so how can the roof of a trailer be cleared in those states, if no driver is around to clear it?
- ATA Presses USDOT for AV Industry Guidance
- Deere to Bring Fully Autonomous Tractor to Market This Year
- Exploding growth: Autonomous delivery market set to take off
- Level 4 Autonomous Vehicles Expected to Take Hold in 2024
- Pennsylvania Unveils Bill to Allow Driverless Testing
- Peterbilt rolls out autonomous truck at CES
- Test driving Plus’ autonomous semi
- TuSimple completes first 100% driverless truck run on public roads
- Watch ‘world’s first’ big rig run from Tucson to Phoenix without a human in the cab
- ZF Announces EV and Autonomous Partnerships, Initiatives
This issue came up almost a year ago when the state of Texas underwent a deep freeze and a lot of things that had been powered by electricity stopped working. So, in the case of the people who were stuck in traffic on impassible roads (see articles under “Weather” above), if they had been driving electric vehicles, how would they be able to move them after all that time without a way to recharge them? If you have an opinion on this, please comment through the form below. Thanks.
- Class 8 EV Truck Manufacturers Scramble To Secure Market Share
- Electric truck charging: Can infrastructure keep pace with demand?
- Electric truck production cutting in line ahead of diesel orders
- Ford Doubles Capacity for Electric F-150 as It Opens Orders
- GM Enters Electric Pickup Battle With 400-Mile Silverado EV
- Lightning eMotors Releases New Chassis for Fleet EVs
- REE Starting Trials of All-New Electric P7 Modular Platform For Delivery Fleets
- Saia, USA Truck Plan to Buy Nikola Electric Trucks
- The Electrification Journey
- Road to change: Trucking industry experts weigh in on New York’s sweeping zero-emission legislation
- Six States Adopt Clean Truck Rule
- Six States Now Committed to Zero-Emission Truck Rules
- Diesel costs mostly lower
- Diesel Dips 0.2¢ in Seventh Straight Decline
- Diesel prices close 2021 with 7-week decline
- Kicking off 2022, DOE/EIA diesel price down for 7th straight week
- Weekly Fuel Report: January 04, 2022
- Will 2022 be kinder to buyers of diesel fuel?
4. Regarding economy, supply chain, ports, and chassis:
- Class 8 order weakness a result of lengthy backlogs
- Class 8 Orders Recover in December 2021
- Expert: ‘Continued strength in [freight] demand’ in 2022
- Five days into 2022 and some dealerships are already out of semi trucks for the year
- Flat sales continue: Supply chain issues, parts shortages constrain November truck sales
- Holiday truckload demand stronger than in 2020
- Manufacturing Gauge Falls While Price Pressures Ease
- New Auto Sales Up in 2021, but Below Pre-Pandemic Numbers
- 3 ways shippers are gaining control of their supply chains
- CES Panel Discusses Supply Chain Problems
- Fearless supply chain predictions: Here’s what will happen in 2022
- New year, same supply chain
- New Year, same supply chain mess
- Official says progress is being made to solve supply chain issues
- Supply Chain and Ports Bend but Don’t Break During Holidays
- Supply chain snarls lead project44 to record growth in Q4
- US Needs to Guard Exports From Supply Chain Snarls, Envoy Says
I’m laughing because one of the articles below gave these statistics — as if the people running the two west coast ports have no idea what happened!
Not since June 2020 have Long Beach and Los Angeles experienced such low numbers. Not only was that figure down by 9.6 percent compared to November 2020, but it also represents a 10.1-percent drop from October 2021.
Another article below gave the reason why the west coast ports’ numbers have dropped: Motivated people have gone to other ports, such as those on the east coast! Innovative people don’t put up with bad service, but rather find another service provider or come up with their own solution!
- 5 alternative container ports for avoiding congestion
- California Container Imports Drop By More Than 10 Percent
- Chinese Cargo Ships Avoid Bottlenecks By Rerouting To East Coast
- Port of Oakland plans empty container yard to help ag exporters
This is another issue, in my opinion, of people creating a solution. OK, if there aren’t enough chassis to handle the freight coming out of the ports, simply build more!
- Stoughton Expands Chassis Manufacturing Capacity With New Texas Factory
- Trailer manufacturer expanding to increase intermodal chassis production
5. Regarding roads, prevention, and technology:
- Lyndon, Vt., triples fines for striking covered bridgesQuote: “‘It is my understanding that there is a commercial vehicle version of the mapping apps, yet that comes with a cost. Instead, they choose to use the passenger car version of the mapping directions which leads them over the bridge,’ [Lyndonville Police Chief Jack Harris] told Land Line.”‘In each instance that I have investigated the operators have said they were following the directions from their mapping app. I am unaware of why these licensed commercial drivers are no longer paying attention to signs, yet as you can see, with 11 commercial vehicles completely disregarding the signs it is an issue.'”Blindly trusting in any GPS or map app — or ignoring clearly posted road signs — is dangerous and should never be done.
One can end up in a preventable low clearance accident.
Obtain and learn how to use an up-to-date truckers’ atlas.
A question came to my mind regarding people stuck in a 16-hour backup during a snowstorm: Are drones capable of flying in snow? If you know the answer to this, please comment through the form below.
- 6 lessons learned about cybersecurity and freight in 2021
- Advanced Shop Equipment Can Help Mitigate Tech Shortage
- AI Fleet uses tech to eliminate dwell time
- Daily Infographic: Roadmap for Successful Technology Implementation
- ProMiles Permit Route Guidance app available in Illinois
- Q&A session: FMCSA’s DataQ system
6. Regarding employment, pay, recruiting, training, and retention:
I don’t believe that the high numbers of people are quitting their jobs voluntarily, but are being pushed out of the workforce due to medical tyr@anny.
- A Record 4.5 million Americans Quit Their Jobs in November
- Coal in the stocking: Truck transportation jobs up just slightly in December
- Companies Add Most Jobs in Seven Months
- More Than 2,100 Lose Jobs as Ce”
“ntral Freight Line Shutters
- Pilot Tuck Stops Raise $1.75M To Combat Veteran Joblessness
- US Jobless Claims Rise by 7,000, Still Low at 207,000
- Walmart to Hire 3,000 Drivers to Expand In-Home Delivery
I am listing these articles as a courtesy, not a recommendation for employment.
- Barr-Nunn named Top Pay Carrier for 17th year
- Lawrence Freight ups driver pay as much as 40%
- Maverick boosts pay for company drivers hauling glass
- Maverick Increases Per Mile Pay for Glass Drivers
- Poll: Do you expect to be paid more in 2022?
- Record Share of US Small Businesses Raised Wages in December
- Feds fast-tracking controversial trucker pilot programQuote: “The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has asked the Office of Management and Budget for review and emergency approval of a three-year apprenticeship program to allow carriers to employ drivers between the ages of 18 and 21 for hauling freight across state lines, according to a request filed Thursday.”Based on insurance rates for young drivers, I believe that this is a very dangerous move.In my opinion, the only reason why “the feds” want to bring in young people is that young adults may not understand enough about trucking and are willing to put up with lower wages and less-than-desirable regulations.
- FMCSA takes step toward under-21 apprenticeship program
- White House Rolls Out Plan To Attract, Retain Truck DriversHow many times do we have to say that bringing in those who don’t understand the problem — to try to fix it — won’t work?
7. Regarding politics, issues, and grading:
- Top concerns in trucking: Industry leaders speak out on critical issues
- What’s the answer? There’s no single solution to the complex driver shortage problem
8. Regarding lawsuit and sentencing:
- Trucker facing lawsuit by family of homeless man crushed while sleeping under rigQuote: “The suit references the FMCSA pre-trip regulations, which require a truck driver to inspect their rig prior to driving. This includes a scan of the ground beneath the rig to check for leaks and the condition of the tires.”
The Colorado Governor wanted for the drama to be over, but he only complicated things!
- Aguilera-Mederos ‘Very Shocked’ by Governor’s Decision to Slash 100 Years From Sentence
- Brother of victim in I-70 crash dubs Colo. Gov. “despicable human being” for major reduction of trucker’s sentence
- Colo. Governor says he commuted the 110 year sentence so abruptly just to “end the drama”
- Rogel Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence cut from 110 years to 10
9. Regarding trucker and clearinghouse:
- Bill would require retailers to give truckers access to bathrooms — or face a fine
- Cooking It Up in the Cab of the Truck? These Truckers Make It Work
- Truck Drivers Must Be Informed of Biometric Scans in Illinois
10. Regarding IFTA, rates, tolls, and theft:
- Indiana Toll Road adding truck parking information signs
- Indiana Toll Road debuts smart parking network for truckers
- Indiana Toll Road launches truck parking information system
- Significant Pennsylvania Turnpike toll hike now in effect
- States Raise Tolls in Response to Budget Issues
- Tolls rising on some major roadways in New Jersey in 2022
11. Regarding parking, recalls, and safety:
- Truck parking boost considered in Washington state
- Truck parking information comes to Indiana Toll Road
- Daimler recalling certain Western Star, Frieghtliner models due to fire risk
- Thousands of Western Star and Freightliner trucks recalled for fire risk
- 5 Loading Dock Safety Hazards to Avoid
- Five Canadian carriers win TCA safety awards
- TCA Names 18 Winners of Annual Fleet Safety Awards
- These 18 trucking companies were recognized for outstanding safety records in 2021
12. Regarding awards:
We recognize inspiring truckers who go above and beyond their professional duties to help others.
- Estes driver honored for helping rescue utility worker from truck fire
- Jimmy Dean gives trucker year’s supply of breakfast
We also congratulate to all truckers who have been recognized for their achievements.
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.