This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending April 16, 2022.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding border inspections, violations, and coal:
An April 12, 2022, article states: “An order from Texas Gov. Rob Abbott increasing inspections at the Mexican border is snarling commercial truck traffic coming into the U.S.”
The following are some of the most recent articles about this situation:
- At one border crossing, Texas returns to random inspections
- ATA Calls on Texas Governor to Stop Inspections
- FreightWaves Classics/Infrastructure: Hard hats save lives in highway construction zones
- Increased inspection requirements eased at one border crossing after agreement with Mexican Governor
- Mexican Truck Exports Plunge 80% as Border Blockade Persists
- New Texas border inspection directive causes chaos for drivers
- Texas Gov. Abbott eases border inspection order
- Texas governor backs off on some border inspections
- Texas keeping most truck inspections despite border gridlock
- Truck drivers from Mexico end blockade of Texas bridges
- TXTA Chief: Driver Wait Times at Border Becoming a Burden
- White House says Texas’ border checkpoints hurting supply chain
These articles vary in their focus and perspective.
Please learn from them what you can so that you are less likely to get flagged or ticketed for a violation.
- Crash awareness event sees more than 200K enforcement stops across nation
- Diesel trucking companies conspire to violate Clean Air Act
- More than 800 violations discovered during three day commercial vehicle enforcement detail
- New York State Troopers are hiding in plain sight for ‘Operation Hardhat’ enforcement
In my opinion, the article linked in the bullet list below just goes to prove that the USA — particularly the Executive branch of the federal government — needs to revise our nation’s independent energy status regarding petroleum products.
Under the previous administration, according to a 2019 article, the USA achieved a milestone by reaching its “first month in at least 70 years exporting more crude oil and petroleum products than it imported per day.”
However, a March 2022 article states that the USA is still energy independent, regarding the calculation to “add up all of our energy production (oil, natural gas, coal, renewables) and then subtract our net energy consumption. The U.S. is a net exporter of coal and natural gas, so it really comes down to the petroleum balance.”
Still, if the USA has become more dependent upon other nations for petroleum products — when we have access to it right here — that’s a problem, in my opinion.
2. Regarding accident, death, drugs:
Please do everything in your power to avoid being involved in an accident.
- Big rig blowout leaves one dead
- Tractor-trailer struck by car, falls off I-95 overpass in Connecticut
- WATCH: VW bug tries to overtake oversize load and experiences instant regret
Our deepest sympathy and condolences go to the family of this trucker.
- Truck driver killed on Wyoming highway after load enters cabQuotes from article: “Troopers said that Castro was not wearing a seatbelt and succumbed to his injuries at the crash scene.””Equipment failure is being investigated as a potential contributing factor.”Always wear a seatbelt when driving a commercial motor vehicle.Did this trucker have his CB radio on and were the crashes ahead being reported on the CB?
Never ever haul illegal drugs, no matter how lucrative the potential pay-out.
- Border officers seize $3.2M in alleged cocaine from big rig
- Drug-related violation numbers trending up for CDL holders
3. Regarding autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, fuel, efficiency:
I am 100% opposed to driverless, self-driving, or autonomous commercial motor vehicles being on the same roads as the motoring public, but share these articles as a courtesy to help you stay current with what’s going on in the trucking industry.
- How Do Autonomous Trucks “See” the World?
- Torc Robotics tackling more complex driving scenarios in autonomous testing
- U.S. Xpress operates autonomous trucking route for more than 6K miles
- Electrified log trailer could improve fuel economy in forestry applications
- NACFE Reports Vans, Step Vans Ready to Go Electric
- NACFE: Vans, Step Van Segment Ripe for Electrification
- North America’s vans and step vans could be electrified today: NACFE
- Today’s narrow path to electric powertrains for small trucking
- Trudeau expected to make electric vehicle infrastructure announcement
- WATCH: Electric pickup helps big rig out of a jam
- What Fleets Need to Know about Electric-Truck Batteries
- Bank Approves Plan Seen as Boost for LNG Exporters
- Diesel futures price up 45 cents in past 2 trading days
- Diesel prices on downswing after hitting record highs in March
- Experts anticipate unstable summer for fuel
- Fuel prices drop again, with declines forecast through summer
- Fuel tax relief efforts continue at statehouses
- Retail Sales Show Impact of Surging Gas Prices
- 4 of the Most Fuel-Efficient Semi TrucksThese trucks range from getting “nearly 8 miles per gallon” to getting “over 10 miles per gallon”, so please do your due diligence before you buy.
4. Regarding AB5, age, training:
I still hope that AB5 is overturned for all independent contractors statewide in California.
In my opinion, no government entity has the right to force workers to not be independent.
- Enterprise Fleet recap: Driver trainers in high demandPlease read our website article if you’re considering becoming a driver trainer.
5. Regarding pay, employment, retention, classification:
We do not endorse or recommend any of the trucking companies listed in this section.
- Daily Infographic: Walmart takes driver pay to the executive level
- GOT Truckers Act would remove overtime exemption
- Roehl Transport’s new pay plan increases driver compensation
- Walmart’s Raises Trucking Industry Bar With $110,000 Annual Fleet Driver Salary
- Jobless Claims Rise but Remain Near 50-Year LowPlease note that “jobless claims” do not necessarily reflect the number of people who are actually “unemployed.”
- Improving retention: Drivers seek real-time information
- Retention through safety with Idelic — Taking the Hire Road
6. Regarding emissions, repair, parts, load securement, recall:
Two of the articles listed below describe shops that tampered with truck emissions control systems.
How would anyone know that this happened after the fact?
Are there penalties associated with emissions if a truck driver is caught — even innocently — with a tampered emissions control system?
Please comment on this through the form below.
- Report: Diesel truck emissions in NYC affect people of color more
- Truck repair shops admit to conspiracy to tamper with emissions control systems
- Two diesel shops plead guilty to emissions tampering charges
7. Regarding lease, LTL, surcharge:
- Does it make sense to unbundle your lease?Please read the whole article, but here’s a quote:”A full-service lease takes the transportation burden away from a company and gives it to someone that has the know-how, tools and technology to operate the fleet more efficiently. The full-service lessor also has the human resources experience needed to hire and retain technicians and to handle the administrative work associated with safety, tax reporting, etc.”
8. Regarding economy, buy/sell, rates:
- Consumer Sentiment Unexpectedly Rises to Three-Month High
- Cowen cuts trucking earnings estimates over ‘growing concerns’
- EIA outlook says market dynamics are evolving
- New trailer orders rebound in March
- Seasonal spot load volumes dip is here, but ‘not typical’
- Trailer orders hit 15 month high as 2022 is basically sold out
- Trucking bloodbath: Truckers are preparing for downturnQuote: “Wednesday, the much-adored Cass Transportation Index Report declared that the freight market is in a slowdown, though the index’s experts said it’s too soon to declare a recession. Banks like Cowen and Bank of America have recently downgraded trucking stocks in their own notes to investors.””Dry van rates have tanked by 37% from Dec. 31, according to an April 8 transportation note by Bank of America analyst Ken Hoexter. Those rates are on the spot market — where loads are picked up on demand, rather than through a contract. The spot market is just a fraction of the trucking world, but spot numbers point to where contract rates will go.”
- XPO Chairman Jacobs Says Transportation Economy Shows Signs of Slowing
- 12 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Truck from Canada and Importing it into the USA
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions when Selling Your Commercial Vehicle
- Sales of commercial vehicles, trailers raise show uncertainty
- Are You Setting Your Rate the Right Way?
- Flatbed the only spot market segment maintaining recent rates strength against the rise in fuel
- Rejection rates continue rapid descent, pulling rates down with them
9. Regarding personal conveyance, parking, politics:
There may have been others in recent years, but this is the first truck stop that I recall being built in New York State in quite some time.
- Love’s opens in Waterloo, New York; has 78 truck parking spots
- Love’s opens truck stop in New York with nearly 80 truck parking spaces
- Love’s Travel Stops adds almost 80 truck parking spaces in Waterloo, New York
- Viewpoint: A closer look at proposed U.S. competitiveness packages
- Virginia Governor vetos bill to restrict truck operations during bad weather
10. Regarding operations, last mile, doubles, innovation:
I wonder if the time will ever come when the “long miles” on interstate highways are taken over by autonomous trucks and human truckers will strictly be responsible for the “last mile” of the journey.
I certainly would not approve of that.
Please share your thoughts through the form below.
Regarding the article, Louisiana proposes tandem trailer hauling to “solve the [trucker shortage] problem overnight”, I have these comments:
A number of things would have to happen in order for this potential double-up-the-trailers “solution” to be practical:
- Truckers would have to be trained on how to handle and maneuver double 48-foot or 53-foot trailers;
- The routes that double long trailers could be used on would have to be clearly defined ahead of time;
- Tractors that haul double trailers may need to be modified to handle — especially regarding the braking — of double trailers;
- Extra pickup and dropoff yards would most likely have to be constructed; and
- There would have to be a lot of new converter gear dollies built to handle connecting two long trailers together.
What are your thoughts about this?
Please comment through the form below.
- Live demo preview: Moving containers without leaving your seat — QuickLoadzThe website (linked in the article linked above) states,”90% of the world’s freight travels in sea shipping containers.”Also, the site states: “pick up and delivery of these containers to end users is currently a hazardous and inefficient process requiring drag and drop tilt bed trailers, winch trailers, forklifts, or cranes.”So, I’d appreciate your thoughts on this type of device.
11. Regarding weather, violence, technology, scam:
Please stay on your guard regarding weather conditions during the entire year, but particularly when temperatures are cold and frozen precipitation has fallen or is falling.
Sometimes it is just too dangerous or treacherous to drive, at which point, you will need to refuse to drive until conditions improve.
As the driver of your truck, you are the “captain of the ship” and no one can force you to drive when it is unsafe.
You may also want to read about “whistle blowing” truckers when it comes to driving safely.
- Blizzard in northern Plains producing record snowfall
- Chains required as 3+ inches of snow falls in Truckee area
- Mitigating the impact of extreme weather on supply chains
- Record blizzard slams North Dakota, Montana
- Severe storm risk high across much of nation as powerful system rakes through
- Strongest blizzard in 25 years expected to wreak havoc on ND roads until Friday
- Truckers Fill Parking Lots as I-94 Remains Closed
Please see the information we have written about self-defense.
- Truck driver charged with homicide a year after double fatal crash
- Trucker accused of killing NYC model deemed competent to stand trial following psychological evaluation
- Dashcams are changing truck driver training
- Drone video shows hundreds of big rigs stranded in small Montana town
- Illinois to debut app that makes navigation easier for oversize loads
- Targeted AI usage provides more supply chain benefits
Let the buyer beware — every time!
12. Regarding awards:
We look forward to congratulating the winner(s) of the Driver Excellence Award.
We also recognize the “Highway Angel” for helping out his fellow human being in a time of need.
- CVSA seeks nominees for annual Driver Excellence Award
- Trucker named Highway Angel for helping tornado victim
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.