Skip to Content

Monthly Archives: January 2018

ELD compliance delay sought by Sikh, Punjabi trucker groups

Read full article here. By Matt Cole

Two groups representing Sikh truckers and Punjabi truckers are petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for a delay in complying with the electronic logging device mandate for members who haul agricultural products, as well as small business trucker members.

SikhsPAC and the North American Punjabiz Trucker Association are requesting the delay for their “fresh produce shipper and small truck business members,” the exemption request states, who the groups say are not fully prepared to meet the mandate’s requirements. The groups also voice concerns over driver privacy in their request, as well as that the ELD marketplace doesn’t accommodate the needs of the agriculture hauling industry and doesn’t factor in existing exemptions.

 

0 0 Continue Reading →

Volvo eyes 2019 for electric truck sales

Volvo Trucks this week said it expects to begin selling electric trucks in Europe in 2019, with the first units put into operation with select customers later this year.

Göran Nyberg, President of Volvo Trucks North America, says electric trucks drastically reduce noise and exhaust emissions and create new opportunities to manage logistics. For example, more freight can be moved at night, resulting in fewer trucks competing for road space during peak traffic times.

“By using electrically powered and quieter trucks for goods transport in urban areas, we meet several challenges simultaneously,” he says. “Without disturbing noise and exhaust gases, it will be possible to operate in more sensitive city centers. Transport may also take place throughout less busy periods, for example in late evening and at night. This will reduce the burden on the roads during daytime rush-hour traffic, allowing both the road network and vehicles to be utilized far more effectively than today.”

Volvo Concept Truck

Nyberg says urban distribution and other pick-up and delivery applications are a starting point for battery-powered electric trucks, but he envisions broader deployment of electric trucks for freight movement in North America as technologies and the market mature. With well-developed logistics and more effective utilization of roads in the evenings and at night, it is also possible for many smaller vehicles to be replaced by fewer but larger vehicles, thus further contributing to lower emissions and less traffic. For example, distribution trucks have just over ten times the load capacity of a regular van. If a larger proportion of transport assignments could be carried out during hours when fewer people are on the road, this will also significantly reduce the risk of accidents.

“Volvo’s technology and deep understanding of electromobility are based on proven commercial solutions already used in Volvo’s electric buses, and solutions introduced in Volvo’s hybrid trucks as far back as 2010,” adds Keith Brandis Volvo Trucks North America vice president for product planning. “Electric vehicles will be part of our future, but the vehicles themselves are only one part of what is needed for large-scale electrification to succeed. Enabling long-term sustainable transport is a complex issue that requires a holistic and wide range of measures. We are working closely with customers, cities, suppliers of batteries and charging infrastructure, and other key stakeholders to create the necessary framework for battery-powered electric trucks.”

0 0 Continue Reading →

Drivers meet with Sen. Ted Cruz to talk hours of service rewrite

Wednesday, January 17, a group of truckers took a meeting with United States Senator Ted Cruz in order to press concerns over the Department of Transportation’s electronic logging device mandate and the current hours of service rule.

Originally called for by trucker Dave McCauley after he made contacts with Cruz’s office on a trip McCauley and other haulers made to D.C. early this year, the meeting was also attended by a bevy of owner-operators and drivers regular readers may be familiar with from Overdrive‘s coverage of October demonstrations in D.C. and those in early December around the country.

Topics discussed included related issues of parking and training, but hours and ELDs were central to much of the discussion. Shelli Conaway, speaking Wednesday night in this edition of the Hammer Lane Radio network on Blogtalkradio.com, said Cruz and aides have asked for further information from the participants in order to assess potential legislative efforts in future. The Senator “wants us to come up with general ideas” for revisions to the hours of service, training protocols and parking fixes, Conaway said.

Several truckers in attendance are associated with the Monday Information Facebook group, originally formed to coordinate state-by-state efforts during the grassroots ELD Media Blitz of Dec. 4, 2017. That group said it had put out a call for hours revision ideas and today released a poll on several hours of service options at this link, where truckers can weigh in on their preferable option.Results, later, would be shared with Cruz’s office.
New Hampshire-based hauler John Grosvenor, speaking as part of this broadcast on the Hammer Lane network, said he came away with the impression that while Cruz was generally “very concerned” about issues presented by the ELD mandate, “he’s not as concerned about repealing the mandate as he is about the hours of service rules. …  Something’s got to give.”

Grosvenor endorsed the notion of a “pause button” for the 14-hour on-duty clock, which the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is attempting to study in a Flexible Sleeper Berth Pilot Program that would allow a small group of truckers to utilize a multitude of options between the currently allowed 8/2-hour split to break up the duty day. If such research showed no safety-negative, it could further set the stage for hours of service revisions to allow greater such flexibility.

FMCSA put out a call for commentary on the study plan, which it was then set to deliver for White House Office of Management and Budget approval, in late October and received fewer than 150 comments. The research request remains at OMB awaiting review and approval, said FMCSA external affairs rep Duane DeBruyne. The request “was submitted to on November 29, 2017,” two days after the comment period closed.

The ability to pause the clock with mid-duty-period rest could effectively combat pressure Grosvenor and plenty others see building up on drivers to maximize driving hours no matter the situations ahead. On-highway accidents, weather, unforeseen delays at shipper and receiver locations — “with a continuously running clock,” he said, drivers are more likely to push through and “burn up your time” when otherwise a nap or other break might allow for the situation to resolve itself without hurting the trucker’s productivity — and income in the end.
Meeting attendees continue to urge drivers supportive of these efforts to engage their own representatives locally and/or in the nation’s capital. With an infrastructure bill a definite priority this year, there could be chance for legislative change in truckers’ favor, a point the Senator was said to have emphasized.

Have you been engaged with your rep and/or senators on these or other issues?

 

0 0 Continue Reading →

Carrier and driver info seemingly safe after hack of FMCSA site, agency says

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has said that a hack of the online tool drivers use to find medical examiners for DOT physicals is the cause behind the site’s now month-long outage. However, no data within the system, such as information on drivers, appears to have been compromised, the agency has told Overdrive.

“There was no evidence of exposure of the personal information of drivers, medical examiners or motor carrier operators,” the agency said in a statement to CCJ on Tuesday about the hack of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

The registry’s website has been down since mid-December. However, examiners can still conduct exams of drivers and issue DOT-required medical certificates. The agency has instructed examiners to maintain results of physicals until the system is operational again, at which time they can upload results of the exams.

“The Department determined from its initial investigation that…there had been unauthorized access to the system. The incident remains under investigation, and the Department is working diligently to restore all impacted services to full functionality as soon as practicable.”

The registry was instituted in 2014 and requires drivers to use a DOT-certified examiner within the registry to receive their physicals and medical certifications. Examiners are required by a separate rule to upload the results of such physicals to FMCSA the same day.

0 0 Continue Reading →

FMCSA Grants Agriculture and Livestock Haulers ELD Waiver

Federal trucking regulators have granted a 90-day waiver to agricultural commodities and livestock haulers from installing electronic logging devices in their trucks, and issued a separate clarification on potential miles that are exempt from hours-of-service requirements for agriculture haulers.

In a pair of announcements, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said it is granting the limited ELD waiver in response to a request by the National Pork Producers Council on behalf of eight organizations that represent transporters of livestock and other agricultural commodities.

The ELD waiver for agriculture and livestock haulers, published in the Federal Register on Dec. 20, will be in effect through March 18.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Indicators: Shippers ‘feeling the pinch’ of tight truck market

Tight capacity hammering shippers conditions: In the lead up to the year’s busiest freight season, market conditions for shippers continued to deteriorate, according to the monthly Shippers Conditions Index from FTR. The index’s reading in October plunged to one of its lowest points in recent years, with truck rates on both the spot market and contract market jumping due to tightened truck capacity, FTR reports.

The Shippers Conditions Index is usually a mirrored reflection of conditions for carriers, with negative conditions for shippers usually indicating positive conditions for trucking companies. Eric Starks, FTR’s chairman and CEO, said market conditions for carriers and shippers “have been diverging dramatically” since August.

“The hurricanes highlighted the lack of extra capacity available in the system. This has been followed by continued strong freight conditions in Q3 and into Q4. Shippers are really feeling the pinch right now, and there is fear that the ELD mandate will impact capacity in the spring,” he said. “We have essentially hit the 100 percent capacity mark – there is little, if any, excess truck capacity. Add in regulations, continued freight growth, or winter storms and we could be pushing that above 100 percent. That would leave shippers scrambling to get loads delivered. And that means paying premium rates for those deliveries. It may be a tough first half of 2018 for shippers.”

0 0 Continue Reading →

Diesel prices start 2018 near $3 a gallon mark

With the change of the calendar to 2018, diesel fuel prices across the U.S. shot up by seven cents during the week ending Jan. 1, according to the Department of Energy’s weekly report.

The country’s average price for a gallon of on-highway diesel starts 2018 just shy of the $3 mark — $2.973. This puts diesel at its highest point in nearly three years, when prices topped $3 per gallon during the week ending Jan. 12, 2015.

Prices increased in all regions during the most recent week, with the most significant increase coming in the Central Atlantic region, which saw an 8.3-cent increase.

The nation’s most expensive diesel can be found in California at $3.59, followed by the Central Atlantic region at $3.151 per gallon.

The cheapest fuel in the U.S. can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $2.774 per gallon, followed by the Lower Atlantic region at $2.854 per gallon.

Prices in other regions, according to the DOE, are:

New England – $3.01
Midwest – $2.935
Rocky Mountain – $2.981
West Coast less California – $3.073

ProMiles’ numbers during the week saw diesel prices jump by 7.8 cents to $2.93 per gallon nationwide.

According to ProMiles’ Fuel Surcharge Index, the most expensive diesel can be found in California at $3.628 per gallon, and the cheapest can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $2.773 per gallon.

0 0 Continue Reading →

YOUR SHOPPING BAG