This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending April 9, 2022.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding inspections and Roadcheck:
If you keep yourself, your trucking records, and your truck in great condition, you’ll never dread an inspection.
Here are some of the most recent articles about inspections within the trucking industry:
- CHP cites 500 drivers in 10-day enforcement blitz
- CHP issued nearly 500 citations during CMV crackdown on Grapevine
- Texas Governor orders ‘enhanced’ commercial vehicle inspections at border, admits traffic will ‘dramatically slow’
- Texas now inspecting all commercial trucks entering from Mexico
- Texas vehicle checkpoints slow trucks from Mexico
According to the second article linked below in this section:
“The CVSA Roadcheck takes place May 17-19, and inspectors will be out across the U.S. inspecting commercial motor vehicles and drivers. It’s the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world.”
Please keep your truck in great condition all of the time, not just before a major “blitz.”
- Briefly: 2 new CDL programs open in Florida | Love’s offer Roadcheck discounts
- Love’s offering discounts on inspections ahead of CVSA’s roadcheck
- Love’s offers discounted International Roadcheck prep
- Love’s offers inspection discounts to help truckers get through Roadcheck 2022
2. Regarding fuel, emissions, autonomous vehicles, and electric vehicles:
Many professional truck drivers and trucking companies are feeling the pinch of higher fuel prices due to inflation.
From a comment I made to a Facebook post written by one of our U.S. Senators:
…here’s a great definition for inflation:
“Undue expansion or increase of the currency of a country, esp. by the issuing of paper money not redeemable in specie. A substantial rise of prices caused by an undue expansion in paper money or bank credit.”
So, let’s look at the official numbers to see what’s really been happening.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis,
the money supply in the USA went:
– from 4,779.8 Billion in April 2020 (Trump);
– to 16,232.9 Billion in May 2020 (Trump);
– to 18,107.1 Billion in January 2021 (Trump);
– to 20,694.5 Billion in February 2022 (Biden).
So, of the increase in the money supply (15,914.70 Billion) in the USA since April 2020:
– 13,327.30 Billion (83.74%) was under Trump; and
– 2,587.40 Billion (16.26%) has been under Biden.
…a “Republican” President was responsible for nearly 84% of the increase of the money supply [during that time frame]…
And based on that, it seems as though nearly 84% of the inflation that we are currently experiencing had already started to happen under Mr. Trump before Mr. Biden ever took office.
The only question now is: Can this be reversed and if so, how?
Here are some of the most recent articles about fuel as it concerns the trucking industry (and please also see the section on “Business” below):
- Continued High Diesel Prices Could Alter Recession-Proof Trucking Industry
- Despite what the pump reads, fuels savings still a possibility
- Diesel prices lower by as much as 9 cents per gallon
- Diesel Ticks Down 4.1¢ to $5.144 a Gallon
- DOE/EIA diesel price drops again, but diesel futures surge
- Fuel tax relief pursuit ongoing at statehouses Land Line State
- How High Gas Prices are Hitting Independent Truckers in the Wallet
- Ontario joins Alberta with diesel tax relief
- Visa, Mastercard to Ease Rules, Allowing Stations to Raise Pump Limit
- Weekly Fuel Report: April 05 2022
- Where Can Mom-and-Pop Trucking Outfits Find Cheapest Diesel?
- ZeroAvia partners on hydrogen aircraft refueling in California
While I’m definitely in favor of being a good steward of the planet Earth that our Creator gave to us, those without a freedom-based mindset want to enslave us to their ever increasing and expanding worldview and political view.
So, be on your guard.
- California could bar 80,000 active trucks by year’s end
- Connecticut Truckers Face Bill to Lower Emissions
- Federal budget spending big on zero-emission vehicles
- Los Angeles, Long Beach ports imposing fees on diesel rigs to raise money for electric ones
- POLL: Will your truck fall under California’s year-end ban of 2007-2009-emissions-spec equipment?
- SoCal ports begin collection of Clean Truck Fund rates
- Walmart Deploys Near-Zero Opposed-Piston Diesel Engine
I most definitely oppose self-driving, driverless, and autonomous trucks on the publicly accessible roads that are used by the motoring public.
However, I am listing some of the most recent articles about this subject so that you will stay informed.
- Are You Up to Speed on Autonomous Trucking?
- Aurora, Werner go autonomous between Fort Worth and El Paso
- Autonomous Origins: Did it All Start With Cruise Control? – Locking It In
- How will autonomous trucks handle blowouts?
- Musk Says Tesla Will Build Vehicle Designed to Be a Robotaxi
- Torc Robotics’ German facility to support Daimler Truck’s self-driving vehicles
- U.S. XPress and Kodiak running autonomous trucking pilots
- U.S. Xpress, Kodiak Partner on Autonomous Freight Program
- U.S. Xpress, Kodiak Partner to Expand Autonomous Truck Deployment
- U.S. Xpress, Kodiak Robotics complete 6,350 mile, 131 hour autonomous run
- Werner to use self-driving trucks on 600 mile lane deemed ‘unappealing’ for human truck drivers
- Werner, Aurora to Autonomously Haul Freight in Texas Pilot Project
Please be aware that while going “all-electric” sounds exciting — as in “no fossil fuels,” right? — there are both pros and cons!
- Los Angeles to Electrify Its Entire 10,000-Vehicle Fleet
- Mack Offers Range Calculator for LR Electric Model
- Maersk executives: Recent Volvo electric truck order just the start of electrifying fleet
- Martin Brower to serve up McDonald’s deliveries with electric truck
- NHTSA Opens Probe Into LG Electric Vehicle Batteries
- Rivian Boosts EV Output Despite Supply Chain Snags
- Smaller fleets will lag in electric vehicle adoption
- USPS EV Analysis Faulty, Rep. Maloney Says
3. Regarding economy, e-commerce, rates, towing, and work zone:
Here are some of the most recent articles about the economy from the trucking industry’s perspective:
- Class 8 orders remained range-bound in March
- Data may suggest growth in Driver Inc. businesses, says OTA
- Dow transport index drops nearly 5% on concerns of freight downturn
- Gloom in Transports Sends Smoke Signal for US Stocks
- Manufacturers avoid overbooking Class 8 orders
- March 2022 truck orders remain consistent
- March Class 8 Orders at 21,000 Stay in Familiar Zone
- Market Growth, Mergers Adjust Logistics Sector Rankings
- OEMs Remain Cautious of Booking Class 8 Orders
- Rates down, fuel up: Is a ‘trucking bloodbath’ on the way?
- Supply Chain Pressures Soar to Record, Index Shows
- Transport stocks fall out of favor as trucking market loosens
- Trucking industry will be in trouble if demand drops to pre-COVID levels
- Trucking is a commodity. Service is not.
- E-commerce is here to stay — so are its environmental impactsQuote: “As a result of that shift, businesses are spending their money differently. For example, the survey revealed that over a third of companies reported using more warehouse space to keep up with online orders. Two-thirds said they needed to increase their warehouse staff, while half said they had seen an increase in packaging costs.”Other than perhaps the use of extra materials for shipping (“packaging costs”), I do not understand from the article how fulfilling orders via e-commerce means creates a greater environmental impact than fulfilling orders via non-e-commerce means.I mean, consumers would have to go buy the items from a traditional brick-and-mortar store if they didn’t order online, right?I would like to see a side-by-side comparison of the numbers to get a better feel for this.
- Trucking company says it got a $47,000 bill for a 10-mile towMy questions:- Is this situation an example of gouging or is the towing bill fair compensation for the work that was done?- Is there a way to get a reliable estimate for towing before the fact?- Is towing a big rig a task that should even be considered on a shop-around-for-the-best-price basis?
Please share your thoughts through the form below.
Even though April 11-15 is “National Work Zone Awareness Week,” please slow to the proper speed in every work zone, all year long.
- FreightWaves Classics/Infrastructure: Observe National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 11-15)
- National Work Zone Awareness Week set for April 11-15
- National Work Zone Awareness Week set to kick off April 11
- Traffic deaths spike in Texas work zones
4. Regarding ATRI, business, and audits:
- 6 Ways to Make Your Fleet More SustainableOf the bullet points that are listed in the article, I’m not sure how valuable “Become an Accredited Sustainable Fleet” is.Please share your thoughts through the form below.
- Current Challenges that Truckers FaceQuote: “Jacinda Duran, an OTR trucker who is clearly feeling the pinch, said that whereas in the past $800 could fill her big rig’s 250-gallon tank with fuel, she now must spend between $1,000 and $1,100 filling up. Her average fuel costs for a week of driving used to average $1,500 to $1,600. Now, she routinely pays $2,400 for the same amount.”
- Keeping cool as an owner-op when difficulties heat up
- The Rise of the Entrepreneurial Carrier: What Shippers Need to Know
- 5 Things Fleets Should Know About DOT AuditsNote: The title says “5”, but I only see “4” bullet points in the article.
5. Regarding drugs, smuggling, and violations:
Never, ever haul illegal drugs, no matter how big of a payout you are promised.
- Border agent canine sniffs out 548 pounds of liquid meth hidden in big rig fuel tank
- CBP finds $3 million worth of liquid meth in truck’s fuel tank
- Presumably fentanyl impaired box truck driver facing manslaughter after wreck involving four wheeler, semi
- Truck Driver Arriving From Mexico Busted Hauling $4 MILLION Load of Drugs
- Trucker accused of hauling 700 gallons of liquid meth freed after field meth tests proven faulty
- Trucker “under the influence of Xanax” arrested for attempt to smuggle 88 migrantsOne of the lessons to be gleaned from this article is not to be so influenced by a drug that you don’t know what you’re doing as a trucker.If I’m looking at it correctly, this specific drug is used to “treat anxiety and panic disorder.”Isn’t there a better way of treating this health condition that doesn’t lead to being “under the influence” to this extent?I know that there are natural substances that can help people to relax.
6. Regarding damage, distracted driving, age, and testing:
If you cause damage with your truck, please be willing to take responsibility for it and make compensation to those whose property was damaged.
Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
7. Regarding accidents, wheel-off/axle-off, fatalities, and near miss:
- VIDEO: Pickup hauling trailer is pretty sure he’ll fit between these two semisYes, I realize that the pickup/trailer driver did not have the space to merge in.But as I watched the video, I counted 4 seconds when the trucker whose tractor was hit could have backed off and let the impatient pickup/trailer combo driver merge in.Furthermore, when you look at the overhead highway signs or gantry, it is clear that drivers in the through-lane should be prepared for some last-minute lane changes by drivers who don’t want to exit off.I could be wrong, but I view this as a preventable accident on the part of the semi truck driver whose tractor was hit.
Yes, truckers are responsible for doing pre-trip inspections.
Yes, trailers are supposed to undergo an annual inspection.
I can’t ever remember a time when I — as a professional truck driver — looked at how well tandems were attached to the bottom of the trailer.
What do you think happened here?
We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those truckers who were killed.
While not all of these fatalities were a result of poor load securement, please make sure that your load is secure before you drive a single inch.
- Louisiana tractor-trailer driver killed after load enters cab
- Questions linger on how trucker’s death on I-590 could’ve been prevented
- Truck driver killed after ‘heavy’ load crashes through cab
- Truck driver killed in Louisiana after load crashes through cab
- Trucker killed in rollover crash, police to investigate for equipment failure
- VIDEO: Trucker forced to slam on brakes after being cut off by Michigan trooperIn my opinion, it is hard to see in the video the vehicle entering the road from the median, but there it came!This trucker did the right thing by:
– looking ahead to anticipate the trooper’s move; and
– braking to prevent an accident!
8. Regarding employment, exploitation, expose, pay, fees, and turnover:
- Biden Administration highlights growth in U.S. trucking jobs, apprenticeships
- Lawmakers introduce bill that would give you a tax credit up to $7500 just for being a truck driver
- Trucking employment ends two-year growth streak
I have written on our website about truckers being exploited and the second article linked below in this section contains a perfect example.
Student drivers and prospective truck drivers, make sure you understand everything before you sign anything by way of a contract with a trucking company that offers to train you in exchange for you working for them for a period of time afterwards.
- Late Night Talk Show Host Decries ‘Exploitative’ Trucking Industry in Blistering Report
- Trucking Companies Train You on the Job. Just Don’t Try to Quit.
We do not endorse or recommend any trucking company listed in this section.
Please do your due diligence before you sign on with any trucking company.
- Are you adapting to changes in the trucking industry?Quote: “I’m especially interested in seeing what happens with carriers like Don Hummer Trucking that are offering salaried positions for OTR truckload drivers. In the case of Hummer, drivers receive a generous guaranteed salary every week and are guaranteed to be home by 2 p.m. on Friday before having to go back to work Sunday afternoon. These drivers can reliably commit to Friday night activities with friends and family, Saturday activities with their kids and Sunday morning church with their families. And their families no longer have to wonder how much money they will have this week based on what loads the driver is offered and when those loads empty. This is a game changer for OTR trucking.”
- Drilling Deep: What tax returns said about trucker pay in ’21
- Every minute counts, except during loading and unloading
- Pay hike means Walmart drivers can now make up to $110,000 in their first year
- Walmart increases pay rates for its drivers
- Walmart takes truck driver pay to the executive level
- Walmart to Pay Truck Drivers Up to $110,000 in First Year
- California Officials Plan Spending of Anticipated $90 Million Clean Trucks Fees
- Ports begin charging diesel-powered polluters to build Clean Truck Fund
- Driver churn? ATA says it’s good for youNo, driver churn is not good.Truckers wouldn’t leave trucking companies if they were satisfied.If the leaders at trucking companies were smart, they would regularly ask truckers what they could do to make work conditions better — or, for truckers who are the least bit hesitant to say something, make a way for them to submit feedback anonymously.As a model, see the video embedded below.
9. Regarding GPS, household goods movers, and fire:
This is another example of the need to not totally rely on technology for routing.
Learn to use a truckers atlas and follow written directions for how to get to a place.
- Residents complain as new warehouse, outdated GPS brings lost semi trucks through their neighborhood
Household goods movers
- FMCSA conducted special moving industry compliance operation
- FMCSA takes action on household-goods carriers in complaint databaseQuote: “The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported April 1 that it conducted a special operation in February to investigate a significant increase in complaints regarding household goods movers.”
While we encourage truckers to quit smoking, those who continue to do so must make sure that they properly extinguish anything that they set on fire.
10. Regarding leasing, market value, parts, tires, and roads:
We address commercial truck leasing on our website.
- DOT, DOL to Address Predatory Truck Leasing
- FMCSA accepting Truck Leasing Task Force applications
- FMCSA calling on fleets to apply to join Truck Leasing Task Force
- FMCSA calls for volunteers to join task force to crack down on predatory lease-purchase agreements
- FMCSA moves against predatory truck leasing
- How leasing companies are responding to increased customer demand
- Miscalculating your truck’s market value can have costly consequencesQuote: “In February, the average sleeper tractor sold was 69 months old with 452,369 miles for $110,686. In fact, prices for every model year dating back to 2017 increased in February, as trucks 3 to 5 years old sold at prices averaging 6% more than the month prior.”
Need truck parts?
- Bitter cold creates brittle shocks
- First 2027 CARB NOx-regs-compliant diesel engine put into service
- Bridgestone announces 15% price hike
- Dandelions Could Provide Rubber for Tires
- Goodyear looks to strike gold with tires made from dandelions
- Texas tollway using satellites to monitor condition of roadMonitoring road conditions is one thing; keeping them in good condition is quite another.Let’s hope that the first actually leads to the second.
11. Regarding personal conveyance, politics, and zipper:
Although there may be earlier articles about this topic, the earliest one I found is dated October 5, 2018.
So why, in 2022, is this issue still a problem?
- CVSA asks FMCSA for clarity on personal conveyance
- CVSA asks for ‘personal conveyance’ clarification in HOS regs
- CVSA petitions FMCSA for ‘personal conveyance’ time, distance limits
- CVSA Seeks Limits for Personal Conveyance Guidance
- Group asks FMCSA to specify a time or distance limit in personal conveyance guidance
- With personal conveyance, how long and how far, CVSA asks
Watch out for any “gotcha” that might come down the road as a result of this proposal (assuming it is passed into law).
- Bipartisan bill would give truckers $7,500 tax credits
- House Lawmakers Introduce Trucking Workforce Bill
Just like a zipper on clothing, when a zipper is performed in traffic, drivers in multiple lanes of traffic take turns merging into a single lane.
Courtesy of Superior Auto Body Saskatoon, here’s a great image to show how this works:
12. Thank you!
All of the articles below highlight someone who helped out a fellow human being in need — and I recognize and thank them for their compassion.
- Melton driver helps rescue people in three-vehicle crash in Alabama
- Phillip Hurte, Terry Harper earn ‘Highway Angel’ wings for helping others
- Trucker honored for helping another driver in tornado
- Warehouse employee wakes trucker in burning semi, avoids major inferno
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.