This is the TDMST Weekly Round-Up of news affecting professional truck drivers, written by Vicki Simons for the week ending March 16, 2019.
We welcome your comments, thoughts and feedback on the items of your choice below.
1. Regarding driving in high winds:
A number of articles this week reported winds gusting up to 80 miles per hour in the Amarillo, Texas, area:
There were numerous other articles this week about bad winter weather and the accidents that ensued, particularly a 100-vehicle pileup on I-25 in Colorado due to an icy highway.
Please check road and weather conditions before you travel.
If it is dangerous to drive, please stay parked in a safe and legal place until conditions improve.
No one can make you drive if it is not safe to do so.
2. Regarding class action lawsuit settlement:
A March 13, 2019, article reported:
Swift Transportation has entered into a class action settlement of up to $100 million with [about 19,000] current and former truck drivers to end a nearly 10-year legal fight over drivers claiming they were misclassified as independent contractors and should instead have been classified as company drivers.
3. Regarding driver turnover:
Three articles about driver turnover were published recently:
4. Regarding mirrorless trucks:
"Representatives from J.B. Hunt, Schneider National and Maverick Transportation spoke on March 10 during the Truckload Carriers Association's annual conference in Las Vegas about their experiences using a mirrorless camera vision system", according to a March 12, 2019, article.
The article further states:
If you drive a truck with a mirrorless camera system, please review it.
Speaking of mirrors, Mack is recalling "nearly 4,000 trucks" over a mirror issue.
5. Regarding trucker fines and citations:
It seems like truckers are in the cross-hairs when it comes to fines and citations:
Be on your guard for situations like these.
We encourage all truckers to use their legal services plan to fight unfair tickets.
6. Regarding ELD exemption:
Rep. Collin Peterson "reintroduced [two pieces of] legislation that would exempt some truckers from Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations", according to a March 13, 2019, article:
Another article reveals that a third bill regarding ELD exemptions was introduced.
OOIDA supports at least two of these bills.
Meanwhile, according to a March 12, 2019, article, FMCSA's Chief, Ray Martinez, told "TCA members how the ongoing rollout of the ELD mandate is helping the agency formulate a proposal to change the HOS rule".
7. Regarding underride guards on trucks:
U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Marco Rubio have "reintroduced legislation [S.665] that would force drivers to have both side and front underride guards on their trucks", stated a March 11, 2019, article.
This topic is also covered here.
OOIDA says that this legislation is "costly" and "impractical".
Separately, a Pennsylvania state legislator wants underride guards on "some commercial trucks and trailers throughout the state".
8. Regarding banning vehicle booting in Georgia:
"Many truck drivers have reported that they've had to pay $500 or more to have a boot removed from their vehicles in the state of Georgia in the past few years", stated a March 9, 2019, article.
But HB 469 would ban some of that.
9. Regarding excellent fuel economy:
In a March 1, 2019, article, we read that "Henry Albert describes how he’s within a whisker of hitting the magic 10.0 mpg."
You may read about his "tractor of choice" and other aerodynamic enhancements he has made.
10. Regarding truck accidents:
11. Regarding autonomous trucks:
According to a March 8, 2019, article:
Although stakeholders cannot agree on many aspects of the future of automated trucks, there was a consensus on at least two points: Fully self-driving trucks that completely eliminate drivers are unlikely in the foreseeable future, but long-haul truckers will take the biggest hit in the workforce.
You can read more in the report published by the Government Accountability Office titled "Automated Trucking: Federal Agencies Should Take Additional Steps to Prepare for Potential Workforce Effects".
Meanwhile, "The U.S. DOT is forming an internal council intended to address emerging transportation advancements like self-driving vehicles, among other technologies", according to a March 14, 2019, article.
12. Regarding onboard scales:
Do you use any onboard scale device on your truck like the one described here?
If so, would you please write a truck part review?
13. Regarding rolling and other trucker protests:
"Slow roll" protests have been entered into in various places around the USA over the last few weeks.
Although details are lacking in the article, those that took place in Georgia, Ohio and the Carolinas were mentioned here.
Meanwhile, a poll asked: Are you planning to shut down on April 12?
14. Regarding truckers who have received or deserve awards and/or recognition:
A whole lot of recognition and rewards have been made in the trucking industry lately (or should be made) -- and we congratulate them all:
My husband Mike and I wish you -- and all professional truck drivers -- safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.