TDMST Weekly Round-Up 2022.07.02

TDMST Weekly Round-Up 2022.07.02 is the trucking commentary on news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending July 2, 2022.

We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.

TDMST Weekly Round-Up

1. Regarding AB5 and smuggling:


In my April 16, 2022, TDMST Weekly Round-Up, I stated:

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.

Well, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the case, meaning that the new state law is going to “stick,” at least for now.

So, if I’m seeing this situation correctly, the power-hungry bureaucrats in charge of the state government in California has just disrespected every “gig economy worker” in the state who wants to work independently of being a company employee.

And the gig economy workers — numbering about 400,000, according to a Sept. 2019 article — have a big decision to make:

  • Either put up with the situation;
  • Or leave the state.

This may include owner-operator and independent truckers.

If a significantly-sized and determined group of truckers decide not to put up with the state law, California may have just bitten the hand that fed it (at least in part).

Now, is this the last word?

Absolutely not!

Those who implement state law change it all the time.

Perhaps this situation will give rise to a change in the California State Assembly and a reversal of this law, which I believe is ill-conceived.


How many times do I have to say that it is never right to treat human beings like they are cattle or cargo?

The reason for this is because human beings were created in the image of God, while animals and inanimate objects were not.

The driver(s) responsible for abandoning these people and letting dozens of them die may face a severe punishment.

Do not aid in the transport of illegal aliens.

If people want to enter the USA, let them do so through legal means.

Our condolences go to the families of those who died.


2. Regarding accidents, railroad crossings, fatalities, fire, and near miss:


Please review these articles and seek to avoid being involved in similar situations.

Railroad crossings

Please review our article about Railroad Crossing Accident Prevention for Semi Tractor Trailers.


It seems as though a lot of people are dying in accidents involving large trucks recently.

Our condolences go to the families of those who died in these accidents.


Please be careful where you operate your truck and how.

Near miss

Bravo to the train engineer for preventing a collision!


3. Regarding fuel, emissions, autonomous vehicles, and electric vehicles:


The price of diesel and gasoline is at record highs in the USA.

There are probably many reasons for this.

Do not be fooled into thinking that if the trucking industry simply changes to all-electric power that things will be fine.

The following articles are some of the most recent on this topic.


Autonomous vehicles

I most definitely oppose the operation of self-driving, driverless, or autonomous commercial motor vehicles on the same roads as the motoring public, but I share this information to help you stay current on the topic.

Also, I expressed my opinion on Facebook about a video contrasting a human truck driver with an “machine-driven” truck — and the comments that I have received have been varied, just about all of them agreeing with me or giving more depth to my understanding than I had before.

Although I have no documentation to this effect, it has been said that insurance companies are unwilling to insure autonomous trucks, meaning that the companies using them are doing so from a “self-insured” perspective.

I shudder to think that it is going to take a fatality to stop some of these companies from trying to chop out humans from driving trucks.

Electric vehicles


4. Regarding maintenance, wheel offs, recall, and regulations:


Wheel offs




5. Regarding economy, pay, road-use fee, taxes, tolls, rates, and UCR fee:


The U.S. economy is on shaky ground, particularly from a debt point of view.

If at all possible, please get out of debt as quickly as possible.


Road-use fee


I stated on June 11, 2022,

The suggestion regarding freezing or eliminating taxes on fuel as a temporary measure to lower the overall price of fuel does two disadvantageous things, in my opinion:
– it removes the ability for a state to pay for road construction and repairs that would be paid for from the tax; and
– (more importantly) it does not address the root cause of the increase in fuel prices to begin with.




Truckload spot rates have plummeted 20% since early January, but that is not the full story. Spot rates include fuel costs, which have increased 60% to 90% over the same period of time. This means carrier margins have eroded much faster than the nominal rate implies, thanks to inflation in operating costs.

UCR fee

UCR stands for Unified Carrier Registration.


6. Regarding drivers, shortage, employment, and lottery:


My condensation of the article: Drink water, watch your electrolytes, and try yoga.

You may wish to look at our pages about:




Unless a person has financial discipline, winning the lottery may land that person deeper in financial trouble than he/she was before winning.


7. Regarding first mile, last mile, operations, and safety:

First mile

I’ve heard of “last mile” and “final mile,” but this is the first time I’ve read about “first mile.”

Quote from article (where “drayage” is defined):

In today’s world of intermodal freight transport, drayage is generally considered to be the transport of containerized cargo by specialized trucking companies between ocean ports or rail ramps and warehouses or shipping docks. As generally practiced today, drayage specifically refers to short distance movements as part of the supply chain process.

Last mile




8. Regarding lawsuit, leasing, and supply chain:



Supply chain


9. Regarding inspections, parking, and politics:


If you and your rig are always ready for an inspection, you’ll never be caught off-guard.


I anticipate the day will come when a trucker parked in a vacant lot — just minding his/her business — is going to be ticketed for damage that he/she did not do.

The fine could be substantial.

Be careful where you park.

I suggest asking your driver manager for an approved, guaranteed spot.



10. Regarding technology, containers, and ports:




Going to work at ports is not all peaches and cream.

Know the ins and outs before you dedicate yourself to this kind of work.


11. Regarding drugs, holiday, and theft:


Do not use or haul illegal drugs.

Although this is more for trucking companies than drivers, an article linked from the last one in the list just above states: “Here are some of the top FMCSA violations – as well as real-world examples of fines levied to companies like yours.”


Be on your guard over the Independence Day holiday weekend.


Consider the ways that your tractor, trailer, or the freight within can be stolen — and take active steps to protect everything!


12. Regarding awards:

We recognize and thank those who helped their fellow human beings in a time of need:

Congratulations to all truckers vying to win a driving skills championship contest — and those who have won or will win!


My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.




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