This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending September 24, 2022.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding tolls, pay, rates, economy, surcharges, and Postal Service reseller program:
In my opinion, the situation of Rhode Island’s tolling system is one of those predicaments that lands right on the crosshairs of the Tenth Amendment, which reads:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Since The Constitution of the United States does not address the topic of tolls, this is a matter for the states to decide, right?
Then again, if this was a “truck-only” toll, then that is not “equal justice under law,” is it?
Here are some of the most recent articles on this topic:
- Court rules against Rhode Island’s truck-only toll program
- Federal judge blocks Rhode Island’s ‘discriminatory’ truck-only tolls
- Federal Judge Calls Rhode Island Tolling ‘Unconstitutional’
- Federal judge rules Rhode Island’s trucks only tolls unconstitutional
- Judge orders Rhode Island to stop collecting truck-only tolls within 48 hours
- Judge rules RI truck tolling system must end
- Judge Strikes Down Rhode Island Tolling Plan (link no longer online)
- Judge Strikes Down Rhode Island Truck-Only Tolls
- Rhode Island truck-only tolls finally defeated in court
- Rhode Island truck-only tolls finally defeated in court
I covered this topic in more detail last week.
- Fall in container spot rates ‘much steeper,’ ‘less orderly’ than expected
- Success for the rest of 2022 may depend on spot versus contract rates
These articles describe the current state of the economy from the trucking industry’s perspective:
- ATA: Truck Tonnage Snaps Back in August
- August Trailer Orders Reflect Complicated Market
- Canadian spot market up 13% in August: Loadlink
- Dynamic pricing offers cost savings amid market volatility
- Fleets in search of new units as truck age grows
- For-hire truck tonnage continues year over year growth
- FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index improved in July
- New truck orders, trailer orders show life despite recession fears –
- Trailer orders rise as backlog-to-build ratio improves
- Truck Tonnage in August Surges 7.4% Year-Over-Year
- Truck tonnage rebounds in August after dip in July
- Trucking conditions in for long period of “moderate weakness”
- Truckload markets resume their decline
- White Paper: How Can Carriers Protect Profits in a Soft Market?
Is this good news?
Postal Service reseller program
Count me slow on this subject, but I didn’t know that the U.S. Postal Service even had a reseller program.
Quotes from the article:
The reseller program, in a nutshell, allowed a third-party company to get a commercial rate from the Postal Service and then sell that rate, with a margin built in, to the SMB, for postal services.
While it may initially appear that SMBs could potentially face higher postage rates, Nima Elyassi-Rad, head of business development at Shippo, said that is unlikely to be the case.
The only SMBs that will see changes are those that had relationships with resellers, Elyassi-Rad said. But if there is enough volume, the SMB may be able to strike a similar, or even better deal, with the Postal Service directly, he noted.
I’m interested in learning just exactly how this will work out in the long run.
2. Regarding accidents, fatalities, alcohol, drugs, and legal:
Please review the large truck accidents described in these articles to see if there is anything that you can learn so as not to be involved in a similar accident.
- Dashcam captures moment big rig flies off overpass, killing driver
- Engineers admit retaining wall was not designed to prevent truck rollovers after fiery fatal crash
- Jeep driver hospitalized after log from passing truck pierces windshield
- Semi driver cited for ‘following too closely’ after collision with scooter
- Texas police investigating crash that caused semi to roll off overpass and explode, killing truck driver
- Truck driver told police his brakes failed prior to crash that killed four in Arizona
- Truck straddles both directions of I-35 after fiery crash that injured driver
- WATCH: Driver and truck roll right into the ocean at Martha’s Vineyard
- Wife of driver in fiery Texas crash does not believe it was his fault
We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those who died, as described in these articles.
- Deadly head-on semi truck crash reported in Indiana
- POLICE: Man dead after crashing into illegally parked tractor trailer
- Traffic Deaths Decline for First Time Since 2020
- Traffic deaths up, but it’s passenger vehicles, not trucks Federal
- Trucker dead in Louisiana after ejection from truck
- US traffic deaths dip in Q2 but still high as pandemic eases
This proposal is clearly federal overreach and in my opinion needs to be stopped.
Never ever haul illegal drugs, no matter how much of an incentive you are offered.
I realize that motorcycles and bicycles can be difficult to see from the cab of a large commercial motor vehicle.
Please be watching out for them and if you need to put additional mirrors on your truck to help you see more space around your truck, please consider doing that.
3. Regarding energy, fuel cells, fuel efficiency, fuel electro, fuel hydrogen, fuel natural gas, and fuel prices:
I summarized the first article in this section as “too few alternatives.”
In my opinion, people need to have access to more choices when it comes to energy instead of fewer choices.
- Germany’s Bosch Warns EV Industry Over Battery Cell Reliance
- Winter in Europe Looms as Next Challenge for Energy Availability
- Class 8s With Fuel Cells Prove Mettle in Los Angeles-Area Test (link no longer online)
- Cummins Showcases Fuel Cell, Engine Innovations (link no longer online)
There are 3 options under “Maintain Your Fleet” in the following article: Motor Oil, Tire Pressure, and Air Filter.
Please feel free to see the other points in the article.
I had never before heard of “electrofuel,” so I looked up the definition.
According to Wikipedia:
Electrofuels, also known as e-fuels or synthetic fuels, are a type of drop-in replacement fuel. They are manufactured using captured carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide, together with hydrogen obtained from sustainable electricity sources such as wind, solar and nuclear power.
The article goes on to say:
The process uses carbon dioxide in manufacturing and releases around the same amount of carbon dioxide into the air when the fuel is burned, for an overall low carbon footprint. Electrofuels are thus an option for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport, particularly for long-distance freight, marine, and air transport.
Here are some of the most recent articles about this topic:
- Amazon to Bring Low-Carbon Electrofuels to Trucking Fleet
- Infinium to provide electrofuels for Amazon trucking fleet
- Infinium’s electrofuels to power Amazon’s middle mile
- Hydra Energy breaks ground on world’s largest hydrogen fueling station
- Is Hydrogen Really Trucking’s Fuel of the Future?
Fuel natural gas
- Diesel down as much as 7.6 cents
- Diesel Drops Below $5 at $4.964 a Gallon
- Diesel prices dip back below $5/gal
- Gasoline’s 98-Day Slide Ends With Modest Price Hike
- Pump Prices Soar as Supply Cracks Outweigh Weak Demand
- Shippers see improving conditions thanks to lower diesel costs
- SONAR Sightings: El Paso reaches 9% rejection rate; diesel prices fall below $5 per gallon
- Weekly Fuel Report: September 20, 2022
- Weekly NTI Update: September 19, 2022
4. Regarding California, Florida, AB5, ports, intermodal, border, and vaccine:
I think that this proposed move by California is a trap and one that will ultimately backfire.
- California regulators eye banning diesel big rig sales by 2040
- California Seeks to Ban Sales of Diesel Big Rigs by 2040 (link no longer online)
- Florida Awards $8.2 Million for CDL Training at Five Colleges
- Florida expands funding for CDL training State Land Line
- Florida Invests Millions In CDL Training, Truck Driver Apprenticeships
- Florida to spend $8.2 million to get more truck drivers on the road
I’m glad that this fight isn’t over!
- California doesn’t want OOIDA allowed into next steps in CTA’s AB5 lawsuit
- California tries to block OOIDA from joining AB5 case State
- Judge allows OOIDA’s entry into AB5 lawsuit
- Gulf, East Coast Port Volume Rises; West Coast Activity Lags
- Port Houston sets container record in August
- Ports of Halifax, Saint John brace for approaching Fiona
Please do your due diligence before you get involved in this kind of work as a trucker.
I will rejoice when this requirement is dropped — for good!
- Canada to Drop Vaccine Mandate at Border Sept. 30
- Reports: Canada to end vaccine requirement; U.S. next? –
5. Regarding autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, emissions, carbon, and internal combustion engine:
I most adamantly oppose the use of self-driving, driverless, or autonomous commercial motor vehicles on the same roads as the motoring public — but I have listed these articles as a courtesy to help you stay current on the topic.
- FMCSA looking for drivers to help in autonomous CMV research
- FMCSA to recruit truck drivers for autonomous vehicle study
- FMCSA to study how human truckers interact with automated driving technology
- Pony.ai to Test Autonomous Vehicles in Arizona
- Q&A: Plus COO on the Role of Autonomous Trucking Tech
- Schneider partners with autonomous truck manufacturer
- Schneider to provide self-driving truck tech company with ‘freight loads and commercial expertise’
- Torc Robotics, Schneider implement pilot program to use Level 4 autonomy for long-haul trucking
- Torc, Schneider Partner on Level 4 Autonomy
From “Engineering Explained” on Facebook, I shared this video today, saying, “Some things to think about…”
Actually, I think it is Electric truck’s biggest problem — at least from the weight of the batteries!
- An inconvenient truth about electric trucks
- Batteries Battle Fuel Cells for Top Spot for EVs
- Bill Would Bolster EV Battery Recycling in Federal Fleet Vehicles
- Bollinger, Wabash to Develop Refrigerated Electric Delivery Truck
- Borderlands: Tesla proposes $375M lithium refinery for EV batteries in Texas
- Challenges of Charging Commercial Trucks
- DaimlerTruck adopts new battery technology
- Fisker, Wallbox Partner on EV Charging Stations
- Ford Breaks Ground on $5.6 Billion Complex for EVs
- Hertz to Order Up to 175,000 EVs From GM
- IRA Sparks Interest in Battery Industry
- Schneider Electric backs proposed SEC climate rules
- Struggling EV Startup Mullen Auto Bids for Bankrupt Electric Last Mile
- Toyota, Kenworth: Project shows fuel cell electric trucks can match diesel performance
- Volvo Plans to Start Customer Tests of Fuel-Cell Electric Trucks in 2025
- Volvo Trucks to begin customer testing of fuel cell trucks in 2025
- Volvo Trucks Unveils New Axle for Extended Electric Truck Range
- Xos Adds Suite of DC Fast Chargers for Class 5-8 Trucks
Exactly what are the “emissions” from large trucks with which people have a problem?
If you know, please share that info through the form below. Thanks!
- 19 retailers committed to zero-carbon shipping fuels by 2040
- 9 Keys to Drawing a Roadmap to Zero Fleet Emissions
- Port of LA Announces Incentives for Zero-Emissions Trucks
- The Road to Zero Emissions is Paved with More Than Batteries [Commentary]
I included the link to the first bulleted article in this section to prove that if people are so concerned about “carbon,” then there is going to have to be mass genocide, because the human body is 18.5% carbon.
Actually, it is insane to want to get rid of carbon because it is the building block of life.
In this article, we read: “Carbon compounds are central to life on earth. They form the building blocks of proteins that are structural elements such as bone, contractile elements such as muscle, coverings such as skin, and enzymes that catalyze the multitude of biochemical reactions. The hereditary molecules of life, the nucleic acids DNA and RNA, are composed of carbon compounds. Together with oxygen, carbon compounds provide the energy for life.”
Internal combustion engine
6. Regarding deadliest, delivery speed, training, and HOS:
- Safety group ranks 12 deadliest states for truck crashes, calls on Congress to crack down on ‘carnage on our roads’
Please do not sacrifice safety in order to try to deliver quickly!
- Entry-level driver training regs’ effectiveness to be studied
- Senate bill would exclude small fleets, others from entry level training law
- Trucks Act would ease training for small trucking businesses
If you feel strongly about this matter, please contact your elected officials.
7. Regarding technology, ELDs, and weather:
- FMCSA considering electronic IDs for all trucks
- FMCSA seeks public comment on proposal to equip interstate CMVs with electronic ID technology
- Should electronic IDs be required on commercial motor vehicles? –
- The FMCSA eyes plan to require electronic identification technology for commercial vehicles
- ELD exemption for pre-2000 trucks should remain, OOIDA says
- FMCSA considering changes to ELD regs; seeks industry comments
- FMCSA Considering Changes to ELD Rules
- Atlantic Canada braces for Hurricane Fiona
- Mexico’s biggest container port reopens after earthquake
- Tropical Storm Ian forms in Caribbean
8. Regarding idling, insurance, and holidays:
Quote from this article:
Did you know, a typical long-haul truck idles about 1,800 hours per year, consuming about 1,500 gallons of diesel? Considering idling burns roughly .08 gallons of fuel per hour, you can do the math on how much that’s currently adding up to be. Not to mention the wear and tear idling has on powertrain components, which the American Trucking Association estimates adds $2,000 per truck in maintenance costs annually.
- Daily Infographic: Postal Service announces holiday delivery preparations
- Massive overcapacity expected to hit holiday parcel delivery market
- Walmart, Target Begin Holiday Early to Ease Inflation Sting
9. Regarding maintenance, oil, trashy, and parking:
Last week, I addressed trashy looking trucks.
Evidently, this truck is even worse!
- Arizona rest area closing to the public until spring 2023, will remain open for truck drivers
- Senators Promote Truck Parking Access
- Truckers Get Short-Changed On Federal Parking Investment, Again
- Truckers parking rigs on their own property may be forced to move thanks to new neighbors’ opposition to semis
- USDOT grants $1.5 billion to fund truck parking, bridge replacement, other infrastructure initiatives
- Where Will You Park Your Truck Tonight?
10. Regarding protection, theft, recall, roads, and safety:
Quote from this article:
Data shows that 71% to 87% of global cargo theft happens when cargo is in transit.
- Another meat trailer theft reported in Nebraska
- Police search for stolen trailers, cargo valued at $750K
- Three semi trailers loaded with meat stolen in Nebraska over the weekend, latest in a string of meat cargo thefts
- Tow truck driver without CDL cited for hauling big rig with driver still inside
- Truck driver, warehouse workers, charged with stealing $425K worth of fitness trackers
- Wrecked motorist steals semi when trucker pulls over to check on him
11. Regarding supply chain, politics, essential, and
- Logistics study: Shippers, third-party logistics companies strive to rebalance supply chains
- New research reflects ‘loose trucking market’ with supply and demand balance rising
- Shippers think a little less of 3PLs’ value, supply chain report finds
While I agree with Chris Spear, President and CEO of American Trucking Associations, regarding what he wrote in this September 23, 2022, article — Perspective: Truckers Are Undeniably Essential — one has to remember that at least as far back as 2017, the ATA was leading the push for autonomous trucks!
- Consider the job beyond what it pays
- Do you plan to change jobs or start looking for a job before the end of the year?
- Driver vacancies soar to 28,210: Trucking HR Canada
- Senators Spotlight Veterans in New CDL Bill
12. Regarding nominations, recognition, and awards:
- Goodyear accepting nominations for annual Highway Hero Award
- Highway Hero nominations due by Dec. 31
- Nominations open for Goodyear Highway Hero Award
- Nominations open for Goodyear Highway Hero award
We recognize those who helped their fellow human beings in a time of need:
- Trucker honored for moving child from the edge of a highway to safety
- Trucker named Highway Angel for saving toddler
- WATCH: Tanker driver rescued from rushing water during desert flood
We congratulate professional truck drivers who achieved a milestone or demonstrated great skill!
- UPS driver of 55 years recognized as part of Driver Appreciation Week
- Meeting the challenge: Tom Frain earns title of 2021-22 Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year Grand Champion
My husband Mike and I wish you — and all professional truck drivers — safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.