-New signs are being put up today to raise the speed limit for trucks on rural interstates to 70 mph.
-Last week Arkansas’ Highway Commission removed the 65 mph speed limit for heavy trucks, citing congestion as a factor.
-The change will mainly impact Arkansas interstate 40, 30 and 55.
– The reality is you will still be seeing trucks going 65mph and under.
-Many trucking companies like Celadon and CalArk international have electronic governors to limit the trucks speed to 65 and they are not planning on changing the limits, citing safety concerns.
-The ATA has a petition pending before the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration for a nationwide 65mph speed limit for trucks.
For more on the reasoning behind raising the speed limit go to The Trucker>>
For more on why it should have stayed at 65mph go to Arkansas Online>>
The Teamsters union and 2 safety groups filed suit yesterday (March 10) stating the border opening for Mexican Truckers was not justified by congress standards. The pilot only included 13 Mexican carriers, which the U.S. inspector general said was insufficient to conclude Mexican trucks were safe enough to be on U.S. highways.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the DOT had concluded the border could be safely opened to Mexican drivers after sufficient data from the pilot and another DOT program. The other program had 700 Mexican Owned trucking companies headquartered in the U.S.
For more go to Transport Topics>>
Three Trucking Companies have agreed to undisclosed settlements after Pilot Flying J cheated companies out of fuel rebates. Judge Thaper ordered the settlements be disclosed, “if the parties cannot consummate the settlement by Friday, April 10, 2015, then any party may move to restore the case to the Court’s calendar.” This still leaves 4 trucking companies continuing their civil lawsuit.
Past Effects of Charges
-Pilot Flying J paid the government $92 million to protect the company from criminal prosecution. This however did not protect individuals from being prosecuted.
-10 Pilot executives have entered plea bargain agreements to cooperate with the investigation.
For more go to ABC Cleveland>>
Sen. Deb Fischer (R. Nebraska) and chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security criticized the FMCSA’s mishandling of the 34 hour restart rule and continuance of the CSA scores for public view.
She plans to make the FMCSA more inclusive of Congress and industry professionals. She would also like to see better cost beneficial analysis of proposed regulations.
For more go to CCJ>>
With America’s infrastructure deteriorating both the president and the senate are scrambling to find solutions, perhaps the solution might be bigger trucks. The idea is to increase the less than truckload to 33 feet from its current 28 feet without increasing the trailer weight limits.
It was recently found that twin 33 foot trailers are actually a lot safer than our standard 28 foot trailers. This would also improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and would have less trucks on the road. Possibly shrinking the driver shortage gap.
Sergio Fernando Lagos has pleaded guilty to six counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He is facing up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. According to records the former CEO, along with former COO Aleman, had a line of credit agreement with GE. By 2010 the line of credit was increased to $38 million when Lagos concealed Dry Van Logistics decreasing numbers. GECC’s loss is estimated at $26 million.
The FMCSA annual minimum random drug test for drivers will stay at 50% in 2015. This decision was based on testing from past lab results, the 2012 survey on drugs and alcohol and several other factors. Here’s what they found…
Soon Mexican trucking companies will be able to apply to make long-haul trips in the US. Which will eliminate the disadvantage Mexican trucking companies had of unloading their cargo in border regions. This policy will also eliminate $2 billion in annual tariffs on U.S. goods.
For more go to The Hill>>
After all the disagreements by both the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) they have both agreed to a federal mediation. The ILWU has been working without contracts since July 1st and although productivity in ports has been shaky since then, it got much worse in November when the union started witholding qualified workers causing a 60% decrease in productivity.
For more info go to DC Velocity>>
74 drivers in Miami have become the third Con-way terminal to join the union. These votes have been happening for 3 months at different Con-way and FedEx terminals. Since the start of all this Con-way has announced plans to increase driver pay by $60 million in 2015 and FedEx has announced 80 cents per hour raise.
Starting December 18th truck drivers will no longer have to file daily reports pre- and post- trip inspection. Getting rid of this rule will save the trucking industry $1.7 billion and 46.7 million hours a year. It’s a waste of time and money with 95% of inspections reports having no safety concerns, however there are certain trucking associations that do not completely agree of getting rid of reports. The ATA reported that 35% of their members will continue to file reports with 40% of electronic data recorders having way to file reports electronically.
Temporary suspension of the rules will allow truckers to work 82 hours a week. The suspension was not supported by the U.S transportation secretary Anthony Foxx who states 80% of the public was against this policy change. The ATA who fought hard for this provision responded saying they do not want to eliminate the 34 hour rest period altogether just amend the regulation. With over 40,000 driver logs the ATA concluded the average hours per week driven was 52 with only 2% working over 61 hours a week. The bill also required the DOT to have stronger studies and survey before having further regulation.
The bill will also provide $500 million for DOT infrastructure grants as well as more funding for the transportation sector. For more on how much and to who money was given go to TT>>
For more on the suspension go to Bloomberg>>
An omnibus spending bill is to come up in congress this week and it is expected to have the Collins Amendment attached to it. The Collins amendment might be considered controversial for lawmakers but has many in the trucking industry fighting to include it.
The Collins Amendment
The Collins Amendment would eliminate the requirements that a truck operator’s hours restart include two 1am to 5am period.
It would suspend the once-per week limit of the use of the restart.
Require the FMCSA to provide stronger justifications to mandate restart provisions.
The Trucking Industry Rallies
The Collins amendment is being advocated by many trucking groups like the American Trucking Association (ATA), the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA), and the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) to name a few. OOIDA added data from a membership survey that showed 46% of operators felt more fatigued after the new rule took effect and 65% are making less since the new rule. They are asking its members to send letters to their congressmen.
P.S- It’s 17 days before Christmas! Hope you’re all ready.
Earlier this year the FMCSA tried to raise the liability insurance above the $750,000 current minimum, but it was shut down by the House of Representatives back in June. The liability insurance minimum has not been changed since 1982, however the ATA states that only 1% of truck related crashes exceeds the $750,000 and would just increase, not only the primary rates, but premium rates as well. They worry that carriers might want to cushion the blow of higher insurance rates with higher freight rates.
The FMCSA are asking carriers 26 “financial responsibility” questions. Here are the topics-
2. Current Insurance Levels
3. Impacts of Increasing Insurance Coverage
Give your input here>>
For the exact questions go to OverDrive Online>>
CVSA asks the FMCSA to pull down the scores from it’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program’s (CSA) safety measurement systems. The reason for this request is the CSA inaccuracy in its carriers future crash risk numbers. The CVSA are asking that until the CSA scores are more accurate that they not be accessible to the public. Multiple government reports have also found issues with the agency’s CSA data and crash risk numbers.