Around Trucking

It’s another busy month around these parts and with summer just around the corner – it’s a busy time as an industry. There’s a lot happening in trucking so we collected some stories you should know about.

Taking News

States where hours and lights violations’ intensity overlap with inspection likelihood from CSA’s Data Trail – Just two states posted increases in the overall number of truck inspections in 2020, according to federal data analyzed by Overdrive and sister data company RigDig. Both were relatively low-inspection-intensity states: Alabama (No. 22) and Rhode Island (No. 34), with 5% gains.

List reveals states with the rudest drivers in 2021 – A recently released list exposed the states that are home to the rudest drivers. Insurify, an insurance comparison site used data from more than 4 million car insurance applications to compile a list of the top 10 states with the rudest driving behavior.  Data on actions such as failing to yield, passing when prohibited and tailgating were used to rank the states.

Inflation drives up DOT fines for regs violations – For the second time this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, along with other Department of Transportation agencies, is updating fines for violations of federal trucking regulations.

No ELD penalties until June 2022, jurisdictions confirm – Jurisdictions that enforce Hours of Service rules have confirmed that Canada’s rollout of mandated electronic logging devices will focus on education and awareness – and not include penalties — until June 12, 2022.

Carriers recognizing importance of driver health and wellness – “It’s very important to offer these programs because health and wellness play a big part in road safety, and having healthy drivers will eliminate fatigue, as well,” said John Cole, driver services and compliance manager with Len Dubois. “Safety is our number one priority, and having healthy drivers driving down the highway is great for all of us and the industry.”

Delayed regulation could have threatened entire ELD mandate, says CTA president – “From a regulatory perspective, there is a huge difference between a call for a delay in the coming-into-force date and the development of a progressive enforcement strategy,” says Stephen Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).

Old school flier shows how much has changed (and how much has stayed the same) in trucking – A decades-old flier written in honor of the American truck driver is a stirring reminder of the old school trucking mentality. The prose poem “What is a truck driver” by Dan Valentine appeared in 1960 and pays tribute to the truck drivers who kept America moving.

Roadcheck may be over, but the next trucker blitz is just around the corner – The CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week 2021 will take place July 11 — 17. During the week-long effort, law enforcement officers across the country will be patrolling for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in risky driving behaviors in or around a commercial motor vehicle. Officers will issue warnings or citations to violators.

CVSA details area of emphasis for upcoming week-long brake safety blitz – This year’s CVSA Brake Safety Week will take place August 22 — 28. The area of special emphasis for this year’s effort is on hoses and tubing. During the week-long enforcement effort, commercial vehicle inspectors with law enforcement agencies across the country will team up to inspect trucks with a focus on the vehicle’s brake systems and components. Inspectors will be compiling data on hoses and tubing to submit to the CVSA.

The first Roadcheck results are in — 709 violations discovered in 356 inspections – During Roadcheck, New Hampshire State Police Troopers inspected a total of 356 commercial motor vehicles. Of those vehicles, 25 had no critical violations after undergoing a Level I inspection. These trucks were issued a CVSA decal.

Here’s what Virginia troopers found during International Roadcheck blitz – State Police in Virginia participating in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s International Roadcheck found 603 equipment and driver violations while inspecting 341 commercial vehicles earlier this month.

Louisiana House Takes Action on Staged Accidents Involving Trucks – The Louisiana House has passed a bill that would make staging an accident with a car or truck a serious state crime. HR 15, passed the House on May 12 by a vote of 100-0. The legislation, if passed by the Louisiana Senate, calls for a penalty of five years in prison, with or without hard labor, and a fine of $5,000, or both, for individuals convicted of the crime.

4 Questions About Brake Violations – The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Brake Safety Week last fall saw 12% of the 43,565 commercial motor vehicles inspected placed out of service for brake-related violations.

Best practices for controlling CSA maintenance violations – No fleet likes to be dinged for a CSA maintenance violation. If the violation is severe enough a truck can be taken out of service, fines can be levied, and a bad CSA score can scare shippers away. The good news is there are some steps you can take to help reduce your number of CSA violations.

WYDOT reopens 9 of 10 shuttered rest areas — for now – The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) recently reopened several rest areas that have been closed for nearly a year, but they’ll be shutting back down at the end of the summer. On May 21, 2021, WYDOT reopened 9 of the 10 rest areas that were closed at the direction of Governor Mark Gordon in June 2020 due to budgetary shortfalls.

Legal marijuana can still cost truck drivers their job – Since trucking is federally regulated in the U.S., cannabis remains a prohibited substance under federal workplace drug testing programs. Canadian carriers operating in that country must comply with those rules, which include random, reasonable-cause, and post-incident testing. For Canadian drivers operating in the U.S. DOT environment, consuming cannabis is ill-advised. While it’s not illegal under Canadian laws, failing to pass a random drug screen can be a career-limiting move.

Study: Bottlenecks cause nearly ‘75,000 years’ of freight delays annually – Bottlenecks cost the U.S. economy more than $42 billion in 2019, according to a review of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data, and freight shipments suffered almost 660 million hours of delay on the nation’s roadways.

Good News in Trucking

North Dakota vaccinates more than 1,000 Manitoba – More than 1,000 Manitoba truck drivers have been vaccinated in North Dakota as part of a Covid-19 vaccine initiative announced in April. “This demand showcases the importance of this joint initiative with our neighbors to the south,” Manitoba Economic Development and Jobs Minister Ralph Eichler said.

A trucker came to the rescue of stranded police canine teams — and it’s the good news you need today – A Sheriff’s Office based in Colorado took the time to thank a semi truck driver who not only used his mechanical prowess to diagnose and fix a problem that left officers and their dogs stranded, but also refused to let them pay him for his services.

Drone trucker: Sharing wild Australian landscapes for a cause – Ben Stamatovich drives a road train truck between the Australian cities of Adelaide and Perth every week. This roughly 2,600km (1,615 miles) journey sweeps him through vast and desolate landscapes, including the iconic Nullarbor Plain.