Drivers Blame "Tight Right Lane" for Recent Semi Crashes on I-80
A 4.5 mile section of Interstate 80 is once again
problems for authorities in Johnson County.
On Wednesday another semi driver lost control of a truck and rolled
into the ditch near the Dodge Street exit.
The dangerous stretch is part of a construction zone that spans from
the Herbert Hoover Highway to the Iowa River bridge. The DOT is working
to widen the roadway from two lanes to three.
"I just called my wife and I told her yesterday I counted five trucks
in the ditch," Bob Rickert said on Thursday. "Since then I called her
again and said I just saw the sixth one."
Only westbound trucks have slid off the Interstate.
Rickert said he believes the reason the semi's are going into the ditch
is because there is not enough room for trucks to drive in the right
lane (of the westbound lanes).
"They're actually driving on the shoulder and that shoulder leans
towards the ditch and it's just a disaster," he said.
your diesel fuel
A common trend today is rising prices, but especially
prominent is the rising price of gas and diesel fuel. With the increase
in fuel prices, oddly enough, I haven't seen an increase in drive offs
from gas stations, commonly referred to as "gas and dash," but I would
like to take some time to caution you on theft of diesel.
Theft of diesel is something that's starting to become more frequent
because of the higher prices. I remember at one time not too long ago
the price of diesel was a few cents less than the price of regular
unleaded gasoline. Diesel is attractive because it can be used as
furnace oil as well as to run a diesel-powered engine.
My warning mainly goes out to long-haul truck drivers and gas and fuel
merchants. I have heard recently stories about long-haul drivers
pulling into truck stops for the night and going to bed for a few hours
to rest up for the next leg of their journey, only to wake up to empty
cross-border comments due Friday
Time is running out for submitting comments on the plan
open the border to long-haul trucks from Mexico.
The agency's proposal allowed for a 30-day comment period, which
expires this Friday, May 13.
Effective comments lay out tangible arguments with examples backing
them up. Comments submitted with opinion only risk not being adequately
considered in the process. ...
now freely flowing on I-40 in East Arkansas
Traffic began to return to normal about mid-day
several small Arkansas towns as the impact of the reopening of the
westbound lanes of Interstate 40 was felt throughout the eastern part
of the state.
Highway officials had closed I-40 due to flooding for the first time
ever, as the White River broke records across eastern Arkansas. Water
from the river spilled onto the interstate, a crucial commercial link
between California and North Carolina, and flooded it for days.
blast TWIC costs, enrollment problems for truckers
For almost five years, truckers have said the
Worker Identification Credential was burdensome, inefficient and added
virtually zero security to American ports and warehouses.
On Tuesday, it was the U.S. Senate's turn.
TWIC was slammed by nearly every member present during Tuesday's Senate
Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing, titled "Are our
nation's ports secure? Examining the Transportation Worker ID
TSA has spent $420 million on TWIC, and the federal government and
private sector may spend as much as $3.2 billion on TWIC during the
next 10 years, not including the card readers themselves.
More than 1.8 million U.S. workers have enrolled in TWIC. The program
was created after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The first TWIC
enrollments began in 2007 and will start expiring in 2012.
Several senators questioned the burdens many truckers faced when being
required to drive hundreds of miles, twice, to enroll and pick up their
Among numerous damaging findings, GAO used covert investigators to
prove that unqualified individuals could illegally obtain a TWIC card
that would give them access to secure facilities that even documented
Americans would not have.
"All this money, and what we have right now is less secure than a
driver's license. ... The fact that we have this card means nothing -
or very little," Sen. John Boozman, R-AR, said. "To me it makes us less
secure than ever."
more scientific and real-world proof that trailer aerodynamics work.
Jack Latimer sells Airtabs, the wishbone-shaped aero
that many truckers apply to the trailing edges of tractors and
trailers. He keeps tabs (so to speak) on studies of truck aerodynamics
and recently sent us this information:
"Now that fuel is of greater concern to drivers and companies, here are
some rules of thumb your readers might find interesting.
power is a topic which will change the world: DTNAs Daum
"Alternative power is a topic which will change the
said Martin Daum, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America
(DTNA), "and at DTNA, clean energy is and will be very important for
years to come..." ...
In his address, Daum also discussed DTNA's role in many diesel
efficiency programs and alternative fuel options, making specific note
of the company's achievements in these sectors, including BlueTec
Emissions technology, hybrid technology and bringing the earliest
factory-produced conventional natural gas trucks to market. ...
For the future, Daum said that the company is also starting to work on
all-electric vehicles and he thanked public and private-sector partners
for their past and ongoing support of the company's efforts to build
cleaner, more efficient trucks. "We have enjoyed a constructive and
productive relationship [with DOE, EPA, CARB, the South Coast Air
Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and others]," he said. "They
invested in this before anyone else believed in it."
Later, Daum told Fleet Owner, that there are three types of innovation:
innovations that improve efficiency and make trucks lower cost, which
have already been done; innovations that can deliver a 2 to 4
improvement in fuel efficiency and offer a payback within 2-4 years;
and "non-feasible innovations," technologies which need diesel to be at
$10 per gallon or more to justify the investment.
Budget 2011: Truck drivers keep fuel tax credits By Australian Trucking
Truck drivers will continue to receive fuel tax credits
despite the $22 billion in cuts in the 2011-12 Federal Budget announced
last night. Operators in the trucking industry receive fuel tax credits
of 15.543 cents per litre on the fuel they use, provided they meet one
of four environmental conditions. The fuel tax credit rate is set so
the trucking industry pays for its use of the road system, based on
figures calculated independently by the National Transport Commission.
would allow tax credit for safety systems
A House bill has been re-introduced that would allow
a tax credit for some advanced safety systems.
The Commercial Motor Vehicle Advanced Safety Technology Tax would
provide a tax incentive for brake stroke monitoring, vehicle stability,
lane departure warning and collision warning or mitigation systems.
York truck emissions rules struck down by court
Part of a state law in New York aimed at reducing diesel
emissions from heavy-duty trucks has been struck down in court.
In 2006, the New York legislature approved the Diesel Emissions
Reduction Act that required trucks that were contracted by the state to
use best available retrofit technology and ultra-low- sulfur diesel
The retrofit rules would have been burdensome, the New York
Construction Materials Association asserted in the legal challenge,
according to court documents. Only California has similar state law.
The emissions law would have required any truck used "on behalf of" the
state to mean subcontractors, sub-subcontractors and others who didn't
have direct contracts with the state of New York, as enforced by the
state's Department of Environmental Conservation.
on verge of authorizing uniform speeds on more roadways
At the encouragement of truckers, the Illinois
taken the next step toward uniform speeds on roadways in the state.
OOIDA leadership says Illinois truckers should be congratulated for
their years of hard work pushing lawmakers to rid the state of speed
Since 2009, Illinois law has authorized trucks to travel 65 mph on
rural, interstate highways - the same speed as smaller vehicles.
The House voted 82-29 on Friday, May 6, to approve a bill that would
expand the 65 mph speed limit for cars and trucks to include four-lane,
divided highways outside of the Chicago area. ...
calls on White House to address fuel, regulatory burden
Truckers are paying an average of $4.10 for diesel at
prices, and yet truckers are routinely called upon these days to dig
even deeper to shoulder the ever-moving target of regulatory burdens.
OOIDA has issued a letter urging President Obama to listen to
small-business truckers about fuel, energy and counterproductive
[OOIDA President and CEO Jim] Johnston notes that diesel prices are $1
higher than they were a year ago, "resulting in an enormous extra
burden on small-business truckers, whose average annual income is less
celebrates 20,000 Nite no-idle systems
... In production since 2004, the battery-powered Nite
system is designed to help drivers remain comfortable while adhering to
anti-idling regulations. Bergstrom says that with the shipment of the
20,000th unit, Nite system users now are saving a total of 75.8 million
gallons of fuel per year; that is equivalent to roughly 1.8 million
barrels of fuel, or 8,422 gasoline tanker trucks filled with fuel.
Roadcheck coming June 7-9
Roadcheck 2011, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's
72-hour safety blitz, is scheduled for June 7-9, 2011. CVSA sponsors
Roadcheck with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration,
Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada,
and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).
Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial
vehicles in the world, with approximately 14 trucks or buses being
inspected, on average, every minute from Canada to Mexico during a
Each year, approximately 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial
and federal inspectors at 1,500 locations across North America perform
the truck and bus inspections.
Since its inception in 1988, the roadside inspections conducted during
Roadcheck have numbered more than 1 million. Learn more about the
program at cvsa.org.
Reopens HOS Docket; Comments Sought on Four New Fatigue Studies
Four new fatigue studies have surfaced, and on Friday
afternoon the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reopened the
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking comment period to allow for review of the
newly presented research.
FMCSA says it is committed to receiving and analyzing all public
comments on the studies before it completes its work on the final rule.
The agency has extended the final rule publication date and extended
the comment period, but it did not say how long the additional comment
period would last. FMCSA must post a final rule by July 26. The
previous HOS comment period closed on March 4.
Opposition to the current HOS proposal is widespread, coming from
industry, law enforcement, and many in the sleep and fatigue research
community. ATA opposes the proposal, and has called for a thorough
review of the science behind the proposal, because of "serious
questions about the research and data used by FMCSA to justify its
proposed changes to the regulations.
rule deadline extended
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
6 it is extending the comment period for its proposed hours of service
rule and as a result will be unable to meet a court-negotiated deadline
of July 26 to issue a final rule.
The agency said only comments related to the four additional documents
will be considered during the 30-day extension. The four studies are: *
"The Impact of Driving, Non-Driving Work, and Rest Breaks on Driving
Performance in Commercial Motor Vehicle Operations"; * "Hours of
Service and Driver Fatigue-Driver Characteristics Research"; *
"Analysis of the Relationship Between Operator Cumulative Driving Hours
and Involvement in Preventable Collisions"; and * "Potential Causes Of
Driver Fatigue: A Study On Transit Bus Operators In Florida."
shutdown affects truckers and their loads
... "It's a major headache, one that can't be avoided,
that is very disruptive to our commerce," Lane Kidd said. Kidd is the
President of the Arkansas Trucking Association.
He says 15,000 to 16,000 trucks travel I-40 between Little Rock and
Memphis every day.
Now he says many drivers are taking alternate highways as far as 100
miles out of the way.
"Chances are, of these shipments, the price of these shipments will go
up for sure," Kidd said. "Everyone pays a little more if it costs more
to deliver the goods, that's just a reality."
It's a reality that could hit everyday items we use.
closes I-40 in Ark.
Truckers are advised to seek alternate routes as both
eastbound and westbound traffic on busy I-40 in Arkansas has been
closed due to flooding.
... The westbound detour stretches 120 miles with drivers reporting
average speed at 10 mph. I-40 in Arkansas is one of the busiest
highways in the country, according to the Arkansas Trucking
it was worth it, TomTom
One of the world's largest GPS manufacturers is taking
heat after it was revealed they sold user data to law enforcement
agencies, including motorist speeds and locations.
TomTom, which makes GPS devices for motorists, recently confirmed that
it has sold user data to police.
The data, in turn, was used by Dutch police to drum up new speed trap
protest cross-border trucking plan
At least 35 federal lawmakers have signed a draft of a
to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood protesting the DOT proposal for
a cross-border trucking program with Mexico.
"The proposal is an undue burden on taxpayers, including buying and
monitoring electronic on-board recorders the department will require
for Mexican trucks involved in the program," [Congressmen Duncan Hunter
(R-Calif.)] wrote. "The cross-border trucking program is a straight
handout to Mexico at the expense of American jobs, taxpayer dollars and
security," he stated.
Raises Bridge Tolls
The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission approved
toll rate structure that will go into effect July 1.
Under the new toll schedule, the Commission will continue to provide
discounted E-ZPass rates for regular commuters and for trucks that
travel during off-peak periods.
Under the 2011 toll adjustment, commercial (truck) toll rates will rise
by 75 cents per axle - to $3.25 from $2.50 per axle for non-pickup
two-axle trucks, and to $4 from $3.25 per axle for trucks with three or
The new rate schedule will maintain the 10-percent discount for trucks
that travel across a Commission bridge during off-peak hours - 9:01
p.m. to 5:59 a.m.
drivers focus on ways to lower fuel prices
Professional truck drivers aren't just talking about the
rising cost of fuel these days. They're taking steps to do something
OOIDA leadership along with Washington, DC, staff and the Association's
Board of Directors recently drafted a set of driver-focused principles
to address high diesel prices. It's a commonsense approach that members
can use when they talk to their lawmakers or policymakers about the
In addition to incentives to increase domestic production, truckers
want assurances that those buying the fuel are the ones receiving the
fuel surcharges. OOIDA also stresses the role of driver training in
fuel consumption, and offers that as an alternative to costly add-on
The average owner-operator spends more than $50,000 on fuel annually
while averaging 107,500 miles. Approximately 16,000 of those miles are
logged as empty or unloaded. Add in detention time, mandatory rest
periods, idling, down time and personal conveyance and it's easy to see
that fuel consumption is not just about highway driving.
alters approach to truck routes
Scottsdale is trying a different approach to regulate
trucks on city streets.
Instead of telling truck drivers which streets they can use, the city
will designate which ones they cannot use.
awards grants for truck parking monitoring
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $4.48
Michigan's I-94 Truck Parking and Information Management System and
almost $2.05 million to Minnesota's Comprehensive System for Assessing
Truck Parking Availability.
Both systems will deliver real-time information on parking availability
through intelligent transportation systems.
hiking bridge tolls
The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) in Northern
reminding the operators of tractor-trailers and other vehicles with
more than two axles that a one-year exemption from an increase in
bridge tolls instituted last year comes to an end this summer. The
agency said the first step in the two-phase toll increase for
multi-axle vehicles takes effect July 1 and will remain in place
through June 30, 2012.
During this period, BATA said the toll for three-axle vehicles or
combinations on the region's seven state-owned toll bridges will
increase to ...
OKs limits on brake retarders
Truck drivers, take notice. Signs in Morrisville will
going up to let you know that brake retarders are prohibited on certain
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation gave Morrisville its
blessing to stop the use of brake retarders on portions of state-owned
streets - Delmorr, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Trenton avenues and
Urges FMCSA to Seek Jurisdiction Over Shippers
The Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee recommended
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration seek jurisdiction over
shippers, receivers and brokers who 'unduly detain' drivers.
In a letter to FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro, David Parker, chairman
of the MCSAC, said the agency should seek legal authority to take
action against entities other than motor carriers or drivers that cause
or contribute to FMCSA safety violations. These parties have the power
to 'unduly detain' drivers during the loading and unloading of
trailers, sometimes days on end. These delays can potentially affect a
driver's ability to make delivers on time or comply with hours of
service regulations. ...
Part 2: Maintaining your equipment
CSA and YOUR RIG
Now more than ever, you're responsible for what you drive, including
company trailers. Take control of maintenance with robust inspection
procedures and self-education to avoid inspection hassles.
prices threaten U.S. economic recovery Shipping costs, driver shortage
could lead to pricier products, spending slowdown
Just as the U.S. economy was showing more traction,
worries have surfaced over higher fuel prices - and related
transportation concerns - that make it trickier and more expensive to
ship consumer goods and raw materials across the country.
"We're looking at the kind of inflation squeeze we saw in the mid-'70s
after the oil embargo, but retailers then were ultimately able to pass
costs along, as salaries were able to catch up," said retail analyst
This time, retailers may not be able to fully keep pace by asking
consumers to pay more, because so many people are out of work
nationally, and salaries aren't rising for others who have jobs.
Outbreak Destroys Truckstop, Affects Carriers, Shippers, Drivers
Tornadoes that ravaged wide swaths of the South
demolished a Virginia truckstop and dealt damage to several trucking
In the worst outbreak since 1974, 164 tornadoes blitzed 13 states on
Wednesday, killing at least 230 people. Alabama was hit hardest with an
estimated 128 deaths, prompting President Obama to declare a state of
Varying amounts of damage were inflicted on the trucking industry in
several states. A Petro truckstop along I-81 in Glade Spring, Va., was
destroyed in a direct hit by one of the twisters. Nearly 40
tractor-trailers were picked up by the storm, some thrown onto the
freeway. According to reports, large amounts of diesel fuel were
spilled in the roadway and into a nearby sediment pond - teams of
hazmat workers were dispatched to clean up the fuel. ...
bill would impose idling restriction
An effort to limit unnecessary idling of trucks is
way through the Colorado statehouse. A separate measure addresses
The city and county of Denver now limit idling to 10 minutes each hour.
Affected vehicles would be limited to idling for no more than five
minutes per hour.
Supporters say the restriction is needed because excessive truck idling
is extremely detrimental to the state's air quality, and costs business
more money. The proposed restriction is touted as going a long way in
making cleaner air more widely available.
Violators would face fines of up to $150. Repeat offenses could result
in up to $500 fines.
Advisory Committee to Make Recommendations on Sleep Apnea
The next step in the federal effort to address sleep
truck drivers will come this summer, when the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration will ask a panel of advisers for recommendations
on how it should proceed.
Freezes Prices Through 2011
Today IdleAir announced the 2011 Price Guarantee
which freezes current prices through the end of 2011. IdleAir Premium
Service will remain at $1.99/hr through 12/31/2011 and IdleAir's
Extended Stay Service for continuous stays beyond the first 10 hours
(at $1.99/hr) will remain at $1.25/hr through 12/31/2011. ...
continues plan to differentiate itself from former company
As fuel prices hover above the $4-range, some truckers
APUs are turning off their engines and exploring cheaper alternatives
for their heating, cooling and electrification needs.
Nearly a year ago, Convoy Solutions LLC bought IdleAir, formerly
spelled IdleAire, and has since launched an aggressive campaign to
differentiate themselves from the old company.
IdleAir services are currently being offered at 21 sites in nine states
for $1.99 per hour for the first 10 hours of usage. After that time,
the price drops to $1.25 per hour as part of the company's new extended
Maurer said the company's "Adapter April" promotion, which ends April
30, has been extremely successful for drivers who may want to use their
services, but may not think they can afford one.
"The adapters are basically free with this promotion," he said. "We are
offering the adapters for $5, then giving them a $5 credit to use
toward our services. We don't want cost to be a barrier for anyone to
try our services."
Turnpike lease 'off the table'
As officials in Pennsylvania look for ways to balance
transportation budget, the chairman of a governor-appointed task force
says leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike to private investors is off the
table. So is a hike in fuel taxes.
Public-private partnerships will be considered, however, including
proposals for new lanes and roadways built and financed with tolls. A
limited use of tolling on existing roadways may also be considered, but
the commission's final report is not due until Aug. 1.
OOIDA considers the tolling of existing roadways as double taxation on
highway users. The Association also opposes the lease or sale of public
roadways to private investors.
Increases in fuel taxes, including diesel, are off the table as well,
cards hacked? Comdata warns of account thefts
Truck driver Albert Yoshimoto received a phone call a
weeks ago from Comdata, the fuel card service he uses for his San
"Have you been writing a bunch of $1,000 checks?" the voice on the
other line asked. "They've cashed a bunch of them overnight."
"They" turned out to be thieves who somehow learned enough about
Yoshimoto's Comdata account to write $12,000 worth of checks in one
night, including several $1,000 checks
Hackers have increasingly targeted fuel card and checking service
accounts used by truckers, several sources recently told Land Line
The issue over red-light cameras has never been hotter
is right now in Los Angeles as the City Council prepares to review the
current camera contracts. The National Motorists Association and OOIDA
are pushing against the renewal, saying red-light cameras are more
about making money than they are about safety.
Approximately 80 percent of the tickets are issued for rolling right
turns, says Gary Biller, executive director of the National Motorists
Association. Those tickets are $466 a pop.
controversy over the national airwaves missing extant/emerging solutions
... In the NPR piece, owner-operator Terry Button is
(click the photo thumbnail of him here, by Maggie Starbard, for the
full story), taking the point of view that a mandate is unnecessary.
... As in all such reporting I've seen outside the trade press here,
what the report totally misses is that low-cost EOBR options exist,
which I've reported on here, and more are quick on the way.
Torn Over Weight Limit Proposal
Fuel efficiency and safety are at the center of a debate
new legislation on truck loads.
There's a bill looking to raise the federal weight limits for cargo on
The maximum load would increase from 80,000 to 97,000 pounds. ...
"It would actually lessen the fuel usage," says truck driver Buddy
Saxton. "It would be nicer to have one truck rather than two trucks
doing the same load. I think it's a good idea."
But not every driver is convinced that carrying an almost 100,000 pound
cargo load is a good idea.
"Plain and simple, the more freight you haul the heavier it is, and the
less fuel mileage you're going to get," says Richard Pratt. "The less
fuel mileage you are not going to be able to do as much." ...
members testify on fuel and regulatory issues
OOIDA Life Member Dick Pingel has 28 years experience
million safe miles to his credit. The one-truck owner-operator from
Plover, WI, recently shared some facts and opinions about trucking
during a congressional hearing on the effects of fuel prices on small
Pingel told the U.S. House Small Business Committee's Subcommittee on
Agriculture, Energy and Trade that a nickel increase at the pump can
mean $1,000 in additional fuel costs for a small-business trucker.
"Small-business truckers always drive with an eye towards saving fuel
no matter what the price, because our business survival depends on it,"
Pingel told the subcommittee.
trucker gets 2 years prison for marijuana
A Canadian truck driver has been sentenced to two years
federal prison for smuggling 240 pounds of marijuana across the border
in a load of paper towels.
with prior crashes, convictions 50 more likely to crash again: study
Truck drivers with prior crashes, violations and
are more susceptible to being involved in a future truck crash those
with clean driving records, according to a recently released report
from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).
The analyses in the report, which draw on data from more than half a
million US truck drivers over a two-year timeframe, focus on a dozen
driver behaviours that raise a driver's risk of being involved in a
truck crash by more than 50.
signal violation likely to lead to truck crashes: ATRI
A "first-of-its-kind" study by American Transportation
Research Institute reveals some not-so-surprising conclusions about
truck driver records and the risk of crashes.
Truck drivers, the study says, with poor driving records are more
susceptible to being involved in a future truck crash than their peers
with clean driving records.
Researchers drew from several driver-specific databases from 2008-2009
to statistically relate those data to future crash probability.
The findings, based on data from 587,772 U.S. truck drivers, single out
about 10 behaviors that are up to 50 percent more likely to lead to
approves 75 mph speed limit
In an effort to make Kansas more competitive with nearby
states, a new law allows truckers and others traveling through the
state to pick up the pace a bit.
Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law a bill giving the Kansas Department
of Transportation the go-ahead to increase the speed limit by 5 mph on
portions of highway.
Previously Hb2192, the new law authorizes speeds for all vehicles to be
increased from 70 mph to 75 mph on rural stretches of divided four-lane
highways as early as July 1.
for business: Delaware opens 24 truck electrification spaces
Truckers without APUs now have another alternative to
when stopping at the Smyrna Rest Area in Delaware.
On April 19, a grand opening was hosted for 24 electrification spaces
for trucks at the site. These are the first of their kind available in
CARB make out-of-state reefer owners upgrade equipment?
Tony Ahlers couldn't believe the letter he received from
California Air Resources Board.
Ahlers, a 33-year-old owner operator and OOIDA member from Laurens, IA,
was caught in February at a Bakersfield scale house while running a
2001 model year engine reefer.
Yes, the air quality agency would accept his $1,000 fine for violating
the state's TRU (reefer) Rule in February.
However, CARB stated, Ahlers also would be required to upgrade the
reefer and prove he had upgraded it - regardless of whether he enters
California again. Regardless of whether his reefer continues to meet
emissions standards in 49 states.
CARB fines in-state companies for failing to be registered with its TRU
registration system up to $500 for each occurrence, and the agency
fines "in-use performance violations" up to $1,000. Repeat offenders
can be fined up to $75,000.
Links Truck Crash Involvement to Driver History
A study by the American Transportation Research
reveals that truck drivers with poor driving records are more
susceptible to being involved in a future truck crash than their peers
with clean driving records.
The analyses in the report draw on data from 582,772 U.S. truck drivers
over a two-year time frame to expose a dozen driver behaviors that
raise a driver's risk of being involved in a truck crash by more than
The report shows that a 'failure to use/improper signal' conviction was
the leading conviction associated with an increased likelihood of a
future crash. When a truck driver was convicted of this offense, the
driver's likelihood of a future crash increased 96 percent. Nine
additional convictions were also significant crash predictors... ...
strike by truck drivers at Shanghai ports yesterday, mainstream media
Hundreds of angry truck drivers blockaded Shanghai's
port yesterday as part of a three day strike against rising fuel prices
and higher handling fees charged by the port.
Entrances to the docks were blocked, preventing the pickup and receipt
of containers, and the windows of trucks belonging to other drivers who
refused to take part were smashed by protesting drivers.
Puts 144 Trucks OOS in One-Day Rural Enforcement Effort
The Pennsylvania State Police placed 144 trucks and 32
out of service during a one-day enforcement effort that focused on
commercial vehicles traveling on rural roads and non-interstate
"National statistics show that more than 50 percent of all truck
crashes occur in rural areas and on non-interstate highways," said
Commissioner Frank Noonan.
Noonan said the enforcement teams inspected 1,361 vehicles. In addition
to placing trucks and drivers out of service, officers issued 651
citations and 1,366 written warnings. The most common violation found
by the teams was brakes... ...
set for June 7-9
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will hold
its annual vehicle inspection program, June 7-9.
During a 72-hour period, an estimated 10,000 CVSA-certified federal,
state and local enforcement personnel conduct truck and bus inspections
at 1,500 North America locations.
Regulations Can Add to Driver Health Problems
... Truck driver health is an important issue that
receives the media attention that it deserves. We are all familiar with
the health problems that many drivers face, all due to the trucking
When you dig a little deeper, you will discover that most of these
health issues can be attributed to one single factor: stress. Dig even
more, and you will find that truck driver health problems can be
brought on by something as seemingly simple as a change or revision
within a particular regulation.
Serious thought should be given by the FMCSA on the possible health
risks that drivers may experience when a new regulation is being
considered, such as the proposed hours of service (HOS) change. We are
all well informed on the various categories of illnesses that the
trucking lifestyle brings, but one really only needs to look at one
single element, the stress factor.
Clinical research has shown that stress causes as much as sixty to
ninety percent of all illnesses. The professional driver is already
surrounded by a very stressful environment and perhaps the number one
focus of any driver is finances. When regulations are imposed that can
cut into the drivers' ability to earn a living, financial stress and
worry can lead to serious health complications.
Good times won't last long
Trucking companies should take advantage of today's
recovery because it will be relatively brief by historical standards,
and then the economy will fall back into recession, an FTR Associates
economist forecast said April 19 in a CCJ online seminar.
"You better make hay now because after two or three years we'll be
right back in recession," said Noel Perry, FTR managing director and
senior consultant. "You only have a few years to put aside savings
you'll need for the next downturn."
One reason he's pessimistic is the weak housing industry outlook.
Housing ownership is down and housing starts will remain low for many
years to come. Construction and housing, which accounts for 14 percent
of trucking freight, represented 37 percent of trucking's decline since
Another problem that will make for a volatile market is the high level
of federal debt and its impact on long-term interest rates. ...
House OKs uniform speeds all day
Truckers and other drivers in Texas could soon be
travel at the same speed, night and day.
Todd Spencer, executive vice president for the Owner-Operator
Independent Drivers Association, said the only speed limit policy that
makes sense is to have all vehicles traveling at the same speed.
"In every instance that lawmakers look at the issue of speeds the only
policy that makes sense is having all vehicles travel at or close to
the same speed," Spencer said.
Myths About Safety Belts for Truck Drivers
BE READY. BE BUCKLED.
program under fire
The U.S. House transportation committee blasted the
Transportation Security Administration for delays in approving TWIC
Meanwhile, Congress is considering legislation to address renewal
deadlines for TWIC holders.
The TSA is still conducting the pilot program for readers to verify the
Transportation Worker Identification Credentials' biometric
identifiers, Chairman Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) said. "Without any
readers, TWIC is about as useful as a library card," he said.
The TSA has issued almost 1.8 million TWIC credentials since 2007. A
2002 Congressional mandate requires truckers and other maritime workers
needing unescorted escort at ports obtain the card, valid for five
A TWIC card is $132.50, but applicants with comparable background
checks, such as Free and Secure Trade card holders, pay $105.25.
Renewal price and the original price are the same.
period extended for EOBR mandate
The FMCSA has extended the comment period for a proposed
regarding electronic on-board recorders and hours-of-service supporting
documents. The comment period that had been scheduled to end April 4
has been extended through May 23 at the request of stakeholder groups.
OOIDA believes EOBRs will not deliver the safety benefits or solve
hours-of-service issues as the FMCSA maintains. Not only that, but
EOBRs would add operating costs to businesses and add to the onslaught
of burdensome regulations that truckers are already facing.
Back in 2007, the FMCSA floated a plan aimed at requiring EOBRs for
so-called "bad actor" carriers in the industry, and followed through
with a proposed rule in 2010 and a proposed enforcement date in summer
OOIDA filed a legal challenge of that rulemaking in October 2010 on
grounds that there is no proof that the devices can accurately or
automatically record a driver's hours of service and duty status, and
that a 24-hour monitoring is a violation of a driver's Fourth Amendment
[See article for links to make comments.]
oppose changes to road user charges
[New Zealand] Truck drivers say proposed changes to road
charges will push up their costs, pose safety risks and threaten many
The changes, currently before a select committee, would see a truck's
road user charges (RUC) calculated on the maximum total weight it is
able to carry, regardless of what it is carrying.
Currently, companies nominate the gross weights they will be carrying
and buy their RUC based on that.
Groups Oppose DC Parking Tax
The American Trucking Associations and three other
filed comments with the District of Columbia against proposed
regulations that would impose a parking tax on the operators of
commercial vehicles loading or unloading in the city.
The regulations would require motor carriers parking in DC to buy
annual or daily permits to do so, would severely restrict the time and
place of parking, and would require vehicle decals to evidence payment
of the tax. An annual permit would cost a large fleet upwards of
$20,000, and the charge would be based on the size of a carrier's
entire fleet, not just those vehicles that may park in the District.
Drivers Life Expectancy Rate - Where's the Proof?
... If truck drivers are living shorter lives than
it because of health issues associated with the trucking lifestyle, or
is it due more to the dangers and hazards of life on the road or a
combination of the two? Hopefully, this new "study" will settle the
truck driver life expectancy rate once and for all and will not doctor
the numbers to satisfy desired results.
companies to bankroll motorway rest stops
PRIVATE companies rather than taxpayers are to bankroll
operate the stalled motorway service areas.
The first four service areas were built by the National Roads Authority
(NRA) on the M1 (Dublin to Belfast) and M4 (Dublin to Galway/Sligo)
But plans for eight others were shelved last year after the Government
ran out of cash.
The rest areas for drivers are deemed vital for road safety.
There has been constant demands for the service areas from truck
drivers unable to pull in and rest on long journeys. Car drivers
complain that they risk falling asleep behind the wheel because there
is nowhere to stop on any of the other newly built motorways.
off truck drivers, NTI tells authorities
National Transport Insurance has delivered a rebuke to
Australia's road safety agencies over their negative focus on heavy
The latest Major Accident Investigation Report by the NTI's National
Truck Accident Research Centre and authored by the NTI's Industry
Relations National Manager, Owen Driscoll, reinforced the fact that, in
a hefty majority of cases, truck drivers are not to blame.
Leaders Call on FMCSA to Retain HOS Rules in Face of New Data
Officials from the American Trucking Associations again
on the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration, to abandon their proposed changes to the
hours-of-service rules following the release of new data showing
significant declines in truck-related crashes.
Trucking Show round-up
New products introduced at this year's Mid-America
Show seem to be a sign of increasing economic growth and renewed
Trucking achieves record best safety performance
The American Trucking Associations has done the math,
latest data shows trucking is safer than ever.
According to an ATA analysis, the rate of truck-involved fatalities on
U.S. highways fell to 1.17 per 100 million miles in 2009 - making that
year the industry's safest since the federal government began keeping
track in 1975.
The rate fell 14.1 percent from the revised fatality rate of 1.37 in
2008, according to the analysis of Federal Highway Administration and
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. ...
electric parking spots to reduce pollution
Truckers stopping to rest at the Smyrna Rest Area will
able to power their trucks without running the diesel engine, saving
money on fuel and reducing pollution.
The new 24 hour parking spots will provide truckers with electric
power, cable TV, connection to the internet, and heat or air
survives truck-train collision
The driver of a tractor-trailer escaped with his life
home with a ticket after his race to beat a train was unsuccessful,
trucking firm mulls compensation for lengthy highway closure
VICTORIA - The Vancouver Island company that owns a fuel
involved in a weekend crash northwest of Victoria is offering to
compensate drivers affected by a lengthy highway closure.
The company also says it's working to clean up the mess that was caused
when its tanker truck flipped, closing the highway for 22 hours and
spilling 42,000 litres of gasoline and more than 3,100 litres of diesel
in truck-related crashes quashes need for HoS changes: ATA
The American Trucking Associations has once again called
the US Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration to abandon their proposed changes to the
Hours-of-Service rules following the release of new data showing
significant declines in truck-related crashes. "Since FMCSA began its
effort to revise these rules, we have said the current rules are
working. The Obama Administration's own data now supports that belief,"
said ATA president and CEO Bill Graves. "Since the agency first changed
the hours rules in 2004, the truck-involved fatality rate has dropped
by 36 - nearly twice as fast as the overall fatality rate on our
highways - and that's not a coincidence: the current rules are working.
an invasion of privacy? DOT wants to know what you think
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is
additional comments on whether its proposed mandate EOBRs sets up the
possibility of driver harassment.
The agency doesn't believe its proposal would lead to driver harassment
and privany violations during roadside inspections, but in reaction to
a recent suit challenging that fact, it wants to be sure that everyone
has a chance to comment on the issue.
The suit was brought by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers
Association (OOIDA) against last year's preliminary rule...
brakes' now banned in DeWitt
The approaches to DeWitt may become a little quieter now
the city has adopted an ordinance prohibiting the use of "jake brakes."
The DeWitt City Council Monday night adopted Ordinance 724,
"prohibiting the practice known as 'jake-braking' [motor-braking]."
"Jake brakes" are a device many large trucks use for sudden braking.
Although designed for use in emergencies, the device is used by many
truck drivers to slow the vehicle suddenly when entering a city or
other area with a reduced-speed limit.
error main cause of fatalities
[IrishTrucker.com] Driver error is the main contributory
factor towards fatal accidents, according to the Institute of Advanced
The UK's leading road safety charity conducted research which shows
that factors such as failure to look properly, loss of control and poor
turn or manoeuvre, account for 65.3 of fatal accidents.
detour creates hassle, expense for businesses
The closure of Interstate 29 north of here [Fargo] is
than a headache for area businesses.
The route between Fargo and Grand Forks that normally is 79 miles for
Valley Express truck drivers is now a 116-mile route, said owner Glenn
That's adding $60 to $80 in shipping costs for each trip, Nelson said.
The detour also restricts trucks that are overweight or hauling
anything that is over in dimension, Nelson said.
lawmakers pursue reversal on red-light camera use
A year after Florida lawmakers gave communities around
state the green light to pursue automated enforcement cameras, a
legislative effort at the capitol would repeal the authority.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 21 states have
laws permitting at least one type of automated enforcement. Conversely,
10 states have acted to prohibit use of the enforcement tool.
The Senate Transportation Committee voted 4-2 to advance a bill that
would force local governments in more than 50 cities and counties
throughout Florida to yank down cameras at intersections to catch
red-light runners. Since July 2010, localities have been authorized to
post the cameras at intersections.
Violators face $158 fines.
Tech Transportation Institute Creates Driving Healthy Resource
Researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation
the Center for Truck and Bus Safety have created the Driving Healthy
resource network on a website, Facebook, and Twitter for commercial
motor vehicle drivers.
Sponsored by the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for
Excellence in accordance with their mission to disseminate advanced
transportation safety technologies, Driving Healthy provides practical
and free health information and best practices for CMV drivers. ...
handed another favorable ruling in C.R. England case
U.S. Magistrate Judge David Nuffer issued an order in
March that ruled in OOIDA's favor on a major issue in the classwide
accounting in the case of OOIDA v. C.R. England.
Salt Lake City-based C.R. England had been arguing that any moneys
tendered to drivers at final settlement constituted the return of
escrow funds. OOIDA's attorneys vigorously opposed this approach as
"rewarding the wrongdoer." Judge Nuffer agreed with OOIDA and rejected
C.R. England's argument. ...
ahead of the inspectors
Under the new CSA program, you don't want to take any
about whether your equipment will pass inspection.
These Overdrive articles explain how to maintain lights, brakes and
other common areas of equipment failure. (If the article is not visible
in your browser, click ZOOM OUT in the top left):
Tires and brakes
Lights and electrical systems
Power- and drivetrain
Trailers and other topics
for idling soon could be a reality for Oregon truck drivers
Truck drivers and other commercial vehicle drivers soon
longer be allowed to let their trucks "idle" for more than five
A proposal, drawn from a Department of Environmental Quality
recommendation, would ban such activity and could lead to a $180 fine.
The new provision would not apply to trucks operating auxiliary
generators or temperature control units for food and other perishable
opens comment period on EOBR
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on April
requested additional public comment on its Feb. 1 Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking regarding mandatory electronic onboard recorders for
commercial motor vehicle operators who must keep records of duty
fatality rate declines 14
A 14 drop in the truck-involved highway crash fatality
between 2008 and 2009 - the latest years for which finalized data is
available - is being viewed both as proof the current regulatory
framework for truck-safety procedures is working and validation of
trucking's own internal safety efforts. ...
England and SleepPointe Train Drivers on Fatigue Awareness - Sacramento
C.R. England, a Salt Lake City-based global
provider, and SleepPointe, a sleep apnea compliance solutions provider,
have joined together to sponsor a Fatigue Awareness Month campaign
intended to train semi-truck drivers on fatigue awareness and proper
fatigue management through a variety of activities. The Fatigue
Awareness month campaign will include a number of activities during
April designed to educate and train C.R. England drivers, independent
contractors, and employees through training, seminars, safety videos,
soars past $4
The national average retail price of diesel surged past
gallon, increasing 10.2 cents to $4.078 a gallon during the week ended
April 11, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy
All regions reported prices above $4.
parking permits for overnight truckers in Williams
Williams officials approved a no-cost parking permit
Wednesday to help downtown hotel owners make parking available for
The City Council voted 5-0 to restrict parking on Seventh and B
streets, except for those who display proper parking passes.
The new permit parking allows the city to free up and make dependable
spaces for regular truckers staying in the downtown hotels at night,
and still allow for short term, hourly parking during the day, Bergson
Opening Border To Mexico Is Irresponsible
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
infuriated on behalf of small-business truckers and professional truck
drivers at today's announcement by the White House to open up U.S.
highways to Mexican trucks.
"This is the wrong plan at the wrong time for numerous reasons," said
Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President of OOIDA. "It's irresponsible
and reckless. The Administration must reconsider or Congress must step
in again to force them to do the right thing."
The majority of trucking companies based in the U.S. are small
businesses. As many as 93 of all motor carriers have fewer than 20
trucks in their fleets and 78 of motor carriers have fleets of six or
fewer trucks. Owner-operator fleets averaging slightly more than one
truck represent nearly half the total number of heavy-duty commercial
trucks operated in the U.S. Those trucking companies and truck drivers
must contend with ever-increasing safety, homeland security and
environmental regulations that dramatically affect their costs of
operation as well as their ability to make a living at their chosen
Mexico does not have an even remotely equivalent regulatory regime for
its trucking industry and drivers.
Would Allow States to Raise Truck Weight Limits
A bill was introduced in the Senate Thursday that would
end to the federal freeze on changes in truck sizes and weights,
allowing states to allow 97,000-pound, six-axle rigs on their highways.
The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (SETA) is cosponsored by
Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Susan Collins (R-Maine)
and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). The bill number is S. 747.
Like identical companion legislation pending in the House of
Representatives, SETA gives each state the option to selectively raise
interstate weight limits from 80,000 pounds to up to 97,000 pounds. The
higher limit applies only to vehicles equipped with six axles instead
of the typical five. The additional axle does not affect truck size,
but it does allow shippers to safely use extra cargo space while
maintaining, or improving, all safety and handling characteristics.
However, some truckload carriers are not in favor of the move,
believing it would simply force them to purchase new equipment without
being able to charge higher rates. In addition, the Owner-Operator
Independent Drivers Association, the railroad industry and many
consumer safety groups oppose such a change.
repeals 1099 mandate
The U.S. Senate passed HR 4, a bill to repeal the
1099 tax reporting mandate passed as part of last year's health care
The 1099 requirement was passed in 2010 as part of the health care
reform law known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
This provision would have forced all businesses to issue a Form 1099 to
vendors from whom they buy $600 worth of goods or more on an annual
basis, and was scheduled to take effect in 2012.
This requirement was expected to result in massive amounts of paperwork
and increased compliance costs.
Trucking Students Fall Prey to CDL School Greed
Many CDL truck driving schools continue to lure
students into class through the promises of big money and guaranteed
employment. The fact is, many trucking companies are hiring new CDL
school graduates and getting those unemployed from the recession back
to work. That is a good thing.
The problem is that too many of these truck driver training schools are
still taking anyone who walks through their door willing to pay the
price ... even when the school knows that their chances of being hired
by any motor carrier is next to zero.
move to forbid ticket cameras
State lawmakers in South Carolina and North Carolina are
moving forward with efforts to put a stop to the use of cameras to
enforce speed limits and traffic-light violations.
In an effort to apply the brakes on a potential speed trap, the South
Carolina Senate voted to approve a bill that is intended to put a stop
to one town's use of speed cameras.
In North Carolina, a bill on the move would put a stop to the use of
red-light cameras throughout the state.
OOIDA leadership is encouraged to see legislative efforts to apply the
brakes to use of the enforcement tool. The Association believes the
focus on ticket cameras ignores the more logical and reasoned approach
to roads and traffic.
"The goal should be to keep traffic moving in as safe a manner as
possible," OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said.
Spencer said communities would be better served to pursue "intelligent
traffic lights that actually monitor traffic and are triggered by
to Repair Act Introduced in Congress
Representatives Todd Platts, R-Pa., and Edolphus Towns,
D-N.Y., have introduced the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act,
HR 1449, into the 112th Congress.
The Right to Repair Act requires that automakers provide full access at
a reasonable cost to all service information, tools, computer codes and
safety-related bulletins needed to repair motor vehicles. ...
While the bill is aimed at the automotive industry, similar issues
exist in the commercial truck repair business, as well.