Creative solutions may be needed for capacity market: FTR
BLOOMINGTON, IN – FTR Intelligence is predicting the strong start for trucking in 2018 will continue, leaving fleets to get creative when solving the problems created by a market already at capacity. Avery Vise, vice president trucking research, says although fuel rates leveled in the first week of the new year, they aren’t expected to drop dramatically in the near future, contributing to record-level spot rates and rising contract rates he expects will peak and then fall sometime in late 2018 or early 2019, but will still remain high. The reefer market was also up in the first week of 2018, with a polar vortex creating an increased need for temperature-controlled transport to keep products from freezing.
Proposed U.S. law aims to prevent underride crashes
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Senate bill sponsored from members on both sides of the aisle is calling for mandatory impact guards on the side and front of trucks, as well as upgraded rear-guards in the United States. NBC News is reporting the Stop Underrides Act, introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Rep. Steve Cohen, would prevent passenger vehicles from being crushed underneath heavy-duty commercial vehicles in a collision.
Livestock haulers to get a 90-day ELD waiver
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is giving carriers who haul livestock a break when it comes to Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). Regulations come into effect on Dec. 18 making the devices mandatory for carriers in the United States, however the government agency announced it will give a 90-waiver to the agricultural industry, in addition to other efforts to make the transition for fleets easier. The 90-day waiver on the devices will allow agricultural carriers to continue to use paper logging until March 18, 2018 to allow time for the exemption request filed on behalf of the industry to be evaluated, as well as allowing for more input from that segment of the industry. Other efforts have already been announced to help make it easier for fleets to make the move to ELDs, and a significant number of carrier may need the transition period.
More drivers are buckling up: FMCSA
WASHINGTON, D.C. - More truck drivers are wearing their seat belt, according to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). A national survey conducted by the group found that seat belt usage in the U.S. was up to a record level of 86% in 2016, from just 65% in 2007. FMCSA deputy administrator Cathy F. Gautreaux says while the results of the survey are good news, work would continue on the issue until 100% of drivers buckled up on the road.
Teamsters back proposed regs for port drivers
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Teamsters are standing behind two bills introduced this week in the United States designed to make jobs safer and more equitable for drivers working in major U.S. Ports. The bills, called the Clean Ports Act of 2017 and the Port Drivers' Bill of Rights, are being introduced by representatives Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) after a USA Today report in June found clean air regulations banning older model vehicles for drivers working in ports were creating an environment of indentured servitude for drivers. Drivers were being forced to sign what the bills call exploitive truck lease or rental agreements.
Teamsters applaud NAFTA progress; talks extended
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Policy teams representing the Teamsters Union from the United States and Canada on hand during the fourth round of NAFTA renegotiations this week are applauding the decision to fix the NAFTA cross-border trucking provision. The priorities of the union representing 1.4 million workers in North America, included highway safety, dairy supply management, and worker rights. Also on the table during this round were key discussions regarding the auto sector and manufacturing, and trade disputes. Teamsters general president Jim Hoffa said independent truckers and highway safety advocates will be pleased with the U.S. position on cross-border services. "The [United States Trade Representative's] approach is a creative solution to this long-standing controversy," he said. "I am satisfied that the U.S. position will permit Congress and the Dept. of Transportation to safeguard the livelihoods of American truck drivers and the personal safety of American families on U.S. highways under NAFTA 2.0." Teamsters Canada President François Laporte said Canadian Member of Parliament (MP) and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, and Canadian negotiators have a progressive, pro-worker approach to the talks.
Trump stumps to truckers on taxes
HARRISBURG, PA - The American Trucking Associations (ATA) was on-hand in Pennsylvania this week to support President Trump in calling on the United States congress to ease the corporate tax burden on the trucking industry. ATA president and CEO Chris Spear said the group supports the President's plan to reform the U.S. tax code and hopefully have it passed into law by the end of 2017.
FMCSA demos platooning this week
CENTREVILLE, VA - The United States Federal Highway Administration (FMCSA), in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Transportation, is culminating a four-year research project by taking a major leap forward this week. The groups will be demonstrating three-truck platooning on highway I-66 for two days September 14 and 15.