The American Driver
From Drivers...For Drivers
What's News - April 2009
FMCSA Tightens Rules on Fines
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration gave notice that it is tightening its standards on
fines for safety violations.
LaHood working vigorously to come up with new Mexico truck plan
WASHINGTON — Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood continues to vigorously propose a
solution to meeting the U.S.’s obligations to Mexico under the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) prior to President Barack Obama’s meeting with Mexican President Felipe
Calderón in Mexico in mid-April.
NATSO: Virginia transport board resolution to threaten jobs, tax base
ALEXANDRIA, VA. — A resolution passed by the Commonwealth Transportation Board would
threaten jobs, businesses and the property tax base of local governments, according to
NATSO, a national trade association based in Virginia.
Safety group offers LaHood criteria for a Mexico truck plan
WASHINGTON — The establishment and conduct of a pilot program or demonstration project
allowing Mexico-domiciled long-haul trucks to travel beyond the commercial boarder zones and
throughout the U.S. must be designed to protect public safety to the maximum extent and
conducted with complete transparency and public involvement, the organization Advocates for
Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS) told Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Wednesday.
Ohio to allow truckers to drive 65 mph in 90 days
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A higher speed limit for trucks takes effect on Ohio interstate highways in
90 days under the transportation budget signed by Gov. Ted Strickland.
Bill Would Expand Truck Size and Weight Restrictions
Two days after a bill was introduced in the House that would allow states to set higher weight
limits for trucks on Interstates within their borders, a competing bill was announced to keep
bigger, heavier trucks off the roads
Security Agency Needs to Improve Truck Threat Assessments, GAO Says
The Transportation Security Administration needs to improve its terrorism threat assessments
of the truck and bus industries, says the Government Accountability Office.
BTS Releases North American Surface Trade Numbers for January
Surface transportation trade between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico was 27.2 percent lower
in January 2009 than in January 2008, dropping to $47.5 billion, the biggest year-to-year
percentage decline on record, reported the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
 
[Top Of Page]
 
Ohio Ends Split Speed Limit
Ohio will end its split speed limit for cars and heavy trucks as part of a $9.2 billion, two-year
transportation budget signed into law this week by Gov. Ted Strickland.
Cross-border trucking pilot program was flawed
The safety records cited as showing that Mexican trucks were safe were skewed because
participants in the program were in effect exempted from U.S. safety regulations.
NATSO: Jobs, Businesses Could be at Risk under Virginia Transportation Board's
Rest Area Plan
A resolution passed by the Commonwealth Transportation Board would threaten jobs,
businesses and the property tax base of local governments, according to NATSO, a national
trade association representing truckstop and travel plaza owners.
VDOT Workers Earned Bonuses Amid Looming Layoffs
More than 400 Virginia Department of Transportation employees received one-time bonus
payments and pay raises last year, even as the state agency struggled financially and faced the
prospect of widespread layoffs.
Virginia officials defend bonuses, salary hikes amid plans to cut staff
RICHMOND, Va.  — State officials are defending bonuses and salary increases given last year
to employees at the Virginia Department of Transportation amid ongoing plans to cut staff.
OOIDA: legal issues need to be settled before new Mexico program is developed
GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has asked a
federal court for a ruling on the association’s legal challenge to the just ended Cross Border
Demonstration Project.
Four Virginia governor hopefuls discuss traffic woes
RESTON, Va. — Three Democrats and the lone Republican hopeful for Virginia governor
expressed similar views on ending highway gridlock and boosting public education at a forum
with high-tech business leaders Friday, doing little to highlight their contrasts.
Obama Names Nominees for Two DOT Posts
President Barack Obama announced his nominees to head the Federal Highway
Administration and the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, both part of the
Department of Transportation. A key post still missing is someone to head of the Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Administration.
Trucking job loss figures revised
The trucking industry shed nearly 15,000 jobs – or 1.1 percent of the total – on a seasonally
adjusted basis in March, according to preliminary estimates released today, April 3, by the
Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Seasonally adjusted employment is down
8.4 percent since March 2008.
Caterpillar starts Illinois layoffs 2 weeks early
DECATUR, Ill. — Caterpillar is speeding up layoff plans at a central Illinois plant, letting go of
more than 1,000 workers two weeks early with pay.
Truckers run into political sand
Imagine you have a Mexican factory with ambitious plans to export merchandise to the US. The
investments have been made, the workers have been hired and, before long, a steady stream
of trucks will be pulling out of your factory gates headed across the border, right?
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National Work Zone Awareness Week begins today
In 2007, 835 workers and motorists were killed in highway work zones and more than 40,000
were injured. Eighty-five percent of those killed in work zones are drivers or their passengers.
Trucking industry divided on higher truck weights
Economics, safety, and the impact on highway infrastructure and the environment are the
battlefields in an intensifying legislative struggle to determine whether commercial truck weight
limits should be raised to 97,000 lbs. or not. And those issues are dividing key player within
trucking itself.
Driver pay down, dispatchers up: Market study
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- It's not unusual that owner-ops' wages are falling along with carriers'
bottom line in the current freight market.
Bad economy holds highway deaths to 1960s levels
WASHINGTON — Less money in the pockets of Americans means fewer highway deaths. As
the economy slid deeper into recession and gas prices reached $4 a gallon last year, the
number of people killed in auto accidents hit its lowest level in five decades.
Port of Tacoma Unveils Fee-Free Truck Emissions Program
The Port of Tacoma authorized a new, fee-free, market-based program to reduce emissions
from trucks that serve the Port.
March Economic Numbers: Unemployment Up, Factor Orders Rise
Another 663,000 jobs were lost in March and unemployment rose, while for-hire trucking
payrolls fell nearly 15,000. However, there were some glimmers of hope in some numbers last
week that are used to measure the manufacturing sector.
Government Opening More TWIC Centers
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration is opening
more enrollment centers as the deadline for port workers to have their Transportation Worker
Identification Credential (TWIC) cards approaches.
OOIDA Asks for Court Ruling on Mexican Trucks
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has asked a federal court for a ruling on
the association's legal challenge to the Mexican trucking pilot program.
Alabama bills address idling, road safety and probable cause
Several bills of interest to the trucking industry are up for consideration this year in the Alabama
Legislature. Those efforts include providing an incentive for truckers to reduce idling; protecting
emergency personnel during roadside stops; and giving law enforcement officers more power
to arrest people for misdemeanors.
Down economy or not, CARB fines keep-a-comin’
The economic recession has crippled government budgets in California, forcing some
government employees to take unpaid furloughs and freeze spending programs. It hasn’t,
however, stopped the California Air Resources Board from fining diesel fleets.
Super fine for super load
A Bethlehem, PA, police captain says it’s the biggest fine he’s ever seen slapped on an
overweight tractor-trailer. According to The Associated Press, the driver of a truck owned by Guy
M. Turner In. of Greensboro, NC, was handed a ticket for $37,554.
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Mexican carriers allege ‘billions’ in damages in Notice of Arbitration over
terminated pilot program
WASHINGTON — The closure of the U.S. market to Mexican carriers as a result of the
termination of the Cross Border Demonstration Project is causing billions of dollars in losses
to Mexican motor carriers, CANACAR, a trade association representing individual carriers within
the Mexican trucking industry, said in a Notice of Arbitration document filed last week and
released today by the State Department.
[CANACAR flip-flopping...just where does this organization stand on issues ~ SS]
Mexican trucking association flip-flops on cross-border issue
After nearly two years of resisting the opening of the U.S.-Mexico border to long-haul trucking
operations, the Mexican motor carrier association now is taking the U.S. to “NAFTA court.”
Canacar filed a Notice of Arbitration on Thursday, April 2, claiming the shutdown of the cross-
border trucking demonstration program is a violation of the North American Free Trade
Agreement.
N.C. carrier spreading word about hospice center campaign
SELMA, N.C. — As it delivers gas along one of its busiest routes, a Selma, N.C.-based
transport company is spreading the word about the capital campaign to build a hospice center
in Johnston County.
Trucking industry hit hard by recession, gas prices
John Logan's been driving big rigs for 30 years, and the 3 million or so miles he's logged can
be seen in the lines on his face.
Report raises red flags with toll road privatization
Look no further than the Indiana Toll Road for an example of how the public gets the short end
of the stick when toll roads go private, says the author of a report on public-private partnerships.
Authors of a report for the Public Interest Research Group are urging states to exercise caution
when considering similar ways to leverage public infrastructure for cash.
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Watch for Construction Slowdowns on I-57
A highway reconstruction project on the northbound lanes of Interstate 57 in Illinois from Benton
to the Franklin/Jefferson County line is scheduled to begin April 20, reducing traffic to one lane.
Obama taps MADD CEO for NHTSA’s top post
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said today he would nominate the CEO of Mothers
Against Drunk Driving (MADD) as the next administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA).
DOT’s freight measure up 2 percent in February
WASHINGTON — The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) rose 2 percent in February
from its January level, rising from its lowest level in more than five years, the U.S. Department of
Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported Wednesday.
Ad hoc coalition asks Obama to quickly resolve Mexico truck dispute
WASHINGTON — An ad hoc coalition of some 140 business, manufacturing, food and
agricultural organizations, today sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to quickly
resolve the dispute with Mexico over allowing its trucks to transport goods into the United States.
Oklahoma bill affecting overweight trucks advances
The Oklahoma Senate approved a bill that would have drivers of overweight vehicles face
escalating fines depending on just how heavily the trucks are loaded. The bill has moved to the
House.
Report raises red flags with toll road privatization
Look no further than the Indiana Toll Road for an example of how the public gets the short end
of the stick when toll roads go private, says the author of a report on public-private partnerships.
Authors of a report for the Public Interest Research Group are urging states to exercise caution
when considering similar ways to leverage public infrastructure for cash.
NHTSA Truck Stopping Distance Rule Delayed - Again
The most recent U.S. Department of Transportation report on significant rulemakings indicates
another push back in the regulatory timeline of the truck stopping distance rule.
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Atlas Van Lines Unveils Hybrid Moving Truck
The first diesel-electric hybrid truck to join Atlas' national agency network and among the first for
the U.S. moving industry was picked up by its new owner, Atlas Van Lines agent William
Duggan of the Wm. Duggan Co., during a ceremony Wednesday.
Sen. Susan Collins: Commercial transportation needs to be modernized
America's economy moves by truck. Heavy trucks haul approximately 70 percent of all freight in
the United States. Some 80 percent of communities throughout the country rely solely on trucks
for delivery of goods and commodities from farm, forest, and factory. More than 8.7 million
Americans work in the trucking industry.
Senator: You break roads, you buy ’em
CARSON CITY — In the closing days of the 2007 Legislature, state Sen. Bob Coffin stood in the
well of the upper chamber and made a memorable speech condemning the Senate for not
taxing the trucking industry to build and fix roads.
Masspike to cease, fuel tax increases loom
The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority could soon cease to exist as we know it. State House
lawmakers voted on Tuesday, April 7, to abolish the authority and consolidate highway and
transportation agencies under one umbrella to be called the Massachusetts Transportation
and Infrastructure Authority. The state Senate passed a similar bill on March 25.
Texas bills restrict, don’t eliminate, private toll roads
The Texas Senate this week approved new guidelines for toll roads and extended the authority
to start and lease the projects for another six years. OOIDA says privatization efforts would be
more suitable for transit work.
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Study Identifies Worst Locations, Loads for Cargo Theft
The states with the highest rates of cargo theft are Texas and Georgia, with most incidents
taking place in truckstops and parking lots, according to a new study. Weekends are the most
likely time for cargo theft, and food, pharmaceuticals and building supplies are the most likely
targets.
Facing deadline, L.A. TWIC processing accepts walk-ins Saturday
Thousands of port workers who need the Transportation Worker Identification Credential still
have yet to be activated in the system, which has prompted one major U.S. port to accept
walk-in appointments only this Saturday. Nationwide enforcement begins on Tuesday, April 14.
Ohio to spend $57 million of stimulus money on studies, not projects
COLUMBUS, Ohio  — Ohio will spend $57 million in federal stimulus money on highway
projects that won't begin for years, an unusual strategy for money that President Barack Obama
said should be used to give the economy an immediate job-creating jolt.
Study: port truckers’ low pay, cargo process, cost public billions; safety issues noted
So you think the current freight crisis and economic crunch is bad? A recent study by two
Rutgers University professors found cargo haulers at the Ports of New York and New Jersey
have an average income of about $28,000 a year after expenses, with no health insurance or
pension benefits.
Web-based tool offers real time fuel prices for calculating surcharges
BRIDGE CITY, Texas — A small group of shippers, carriers and marketing groups have joined
forces to build a new model for calculating fuel surcharges.
[We have the free "average cost-per-gallon"calculator on our driver services page  ~SS~]
President Obama taps Maryland DOT head for deputy secretary of U.S. DOT
WASHINGTON — John D. Porcari, who currently serves as Secretary of the Maryland
Department of Transportation, was tapped today by President Barack Obama as his pick for
Deputy Secretary, Department of Transportation.
House committee sets priorities for next highway bill
The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has laid down some ground
rules for lawmakers who intend to submit project considerations to be incorporated into the
next surface transportation authorization bill.
Knight Growing Owner-Operator Fleet
Knight Transportation, Phoenix, is growing its owner-operator fleet with a new pay package and
appealing regional runs.
Inland truck industry struggles with economy
When the economy struggles, trucking companies tend to be among the first to feel pain.
Groups paint independent truckers as polluters
The independent trucker is an American icon, glorified 30 years ago in B-movies like "Smokey
and the Bandit" as the modern cowboy making a living on his own wits and diesel-powered rig.
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Mexican president reportedly to urge Obama to allow Mexican trucks inside U.S.
President Barack Obama will be urged by Mexican President Felipe Calderon to let Mexico
trucks further into the U.S. when Obama visits Mexico later this week, Bloomberg.com reported
today.
Truckers revved up over Canadian speed rule
The American trucking industry is sharply divided over a new rule that, for now, only affects rigs
that cross into Canada’s two busiest provinces. But it is a mandate that may soon follow them
back across the border.
Obama, Biden, DOT Secretary LaHood: 2,000th transport project underway
WASHINGTON — Since the first transportation project was approved six weeks ago under the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the 2,000th project was approved, the
president and vice president and DOT chief Ray Lahood announced today.
Farm Bureau, industry groups opposes carbon emissions cap
SALEM - Oregon Farm Bureau President Barry Bushue urged lawmakers to drop efforts to cap
Oregon's carbon emissions.
First Bank & Trust opens FirstLine Funding division
First Bank & Trust has opened a new commercial finance division in Madison, FirstLine
Funding Group. The division, which is located in the lower level of the bank, provides accounts
receivable factoring for the transportation industry.
Montana truck bills won’t move forward
Noteworthy legislative efforts in Montana will have to wait until the next regular session that
addressed truck weight limits, English-only CDL testing and opting out of daylight-saving time.
What Mexico really needs from Obama
President Obama should not focus exclusively on short-term military goals during his visit to
Mexico this week. The violence there, which has taken the lives of 10,000 Mexicans over the last
two years, must be stopped. But the helicopters, weapons scanners and listening devices that
have been the cornerstone of promised U.S. support will only go so far. The real solution lies in
effective institution-building.
[How 'bout America first, Mr. President  (~SS~)]
Mexican Congress debates legalizing marijuana
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's Congress opened a three-day debate Monday on the merits of
legalizing marijuana for personal use, a policy backed by three former Latin American
presidents who warned that a crackdown on drug cartels is not working.
House committee sets priorities for next highway bill
The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has laid down some ground
rules for lawmakers who intend to submit project considerations to be incorporated into the
next surface transportation authorization bill.
World of Large Cars Scheduled for July
A truck beauty show, "World of Large Cars: A Tribute to Bette Garber" will be held July 3-5 at the
Macoupin County Fairgrounds in Carlinville, Ill.
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DOT sends NAFTA truck plans to Obama before Mexico trip
WASHINGTON — The Department of Transportation has apparently delivered on its promise to
send a set of principles for a new Mexico trucking program to the White House before President
Barack Obama leaves for Mexico later this week.
N.J. officials unveil $3.6B transportation plan
TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey state Department of Transportation wants to spend $3.6
billion on road and mass transit projects in the coming budget year, saying the plan would
create jobs and improve New Jersey's battered economy.
Maryland DOT Secretary is Obama's Choice for DOT Deputy Secretary
John Porcari, secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, is President Barack
Obama's choice to become the next deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Iowa DOT officers accused of overstepping authority
Two Iowa DOT officers have been accused of over-aggressively investigating some vehicles
following complaints by Iowa residents involved in two separate incidents.
Clean-air policy a problem for some Port of Seattle truckers
SEATTLE - Every day hundreds of trucks take goods to and from the Port of Seattle.
Nebraska bills bring state law in line with federal truck rules
Two bills that just got the go-ahead in Nebraska beef up out-of-service penalties.
Texas using stimulus money to build toll roads
The Texas Department of Transportation plans to spend at least $255.3 million in federal
stimulus money to build new toll roads.
It's official: Oregon won't be the same ever again
I'm taking a couple of days off, but I can't help thinking about the news that Oregon's
unemployment rate has now climbed to 12.1 percent - equaling the worst of the state's last
deep recession, in the early 1980s.
Cummins to discontinue ComfortGuard, will honor warranties
After a couple of years in the auxiliary power unit market, Cummins Inc. will discontinue
production of its ComfortGuard power unit. Shawn Wasson, Auxiliary Power Unit Business
Leader, confirmed to Land Line that production of the unit would be discontinued sometime in
mid-May.
Peterbilt closes Nashville facility
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Peterbilt Motors Company announced the temporary closure of its
Madison facility, which has been on a work stoppage due to union contract negotiations.
Collective Data Reports Continued Growth Despite Troubled Economy
Collective Data, which provides fleet information and maintenance management software
systems, announced a year-over-year growth of 27 percent for 2008.
Retail sales fall unexpectedly in March
WASHINGTON — Retail sales fell unexpectedly in March, delivering a setback to hopes that the
economy's steep slide could be bottoming out.
ExpoCam truck show in Montreal promises a good time
Organizers of this year’s ExpoCam truck show in Montreal, Canada, are predicting a record-
breaking attendance of 17,000 industry professionals despite a slowed economy. The annual
ExpoCam is set to take place Thursday, April 16, through Saturday, April 18, at Place
Bonaventure, Montreal, Quebec.
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TWIC Card Deadline Today
As of today, April 15, anyone entering the secure area of a maritime port must now possess a
valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) or be escorted by someone who
does.
Cross-Border Trucking on Obama Agenda This Week
Setting up a new cross-border trucking program will likely be high on the agenda when
President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon meet in Mexico City Thursday
and Friday.
Congress lacks ‘appetite’ for opening border fully to Mexican trucks, former
FMCSA chief says
GREENWOOD, Ind. — The Bush administration official charged with leading the Cross Border
Demonstration Project said the current infrastructure environment does not encourage long
runs by Mexican or U.S. trucks into each other’s countries.
Economy Continues to Contract, Fed Says
The U.S. economy continued to decline from the end of February through the beginning of April,
affecting transportation industry services and demand, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.
SRS Engineering in Murrieta sees boom time for biodiesel plants
Across from Clayton Hawranik's office at SRS Engineering in Murrieta are two job applicants
huddled near laptops in a boardroom. He's hiring, and so are others in the biodiesel industry.
Gasoline, diesel expected to increase, but not much
WASHINGTON — Gasoline and diesel prices are expected to be relatively low this summer, so
motorists might want to take to the road despite the dismal economy if the federal government
projections hold.
Tone down biodiesel mandate, truckers tell rulemakers
SURREY, B.C. -- The BC government and Ottawa need to drastically change the way hey plan to
roll out their mandatory biodiesel programs or risk watching truckers shut down their rigs, say
two of the nation's largest trucking groups.
India's Hero pulls out of Daimler truck joint venture
BERLIN — India's Hero Group is withdrawing from a truck-building joint venture with Daimler
AG, the German company said Wednesday, citing the difficult economic situation and weak
demand in India.
Ohio joins truck-only lane study
Ohio has joined Indiana, Illinois and Missouri in a study of building truck-only lanes on
Interstate 70. The 800-mile stretch of I-70 in the four states has already been designated a
“Corridor of the Future” by Washington – meaning the states will be eligible for priority use of
federal highway dollars.
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Judge won’t block ports’ clean trucks programs
LOS ANGELES — A federal court judge upheld the clean trucks pollution reduction program
championed by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in a ruling Wednesday.
Truckers struggle in recession, take what they can get
GILLETTE, Wyo. — Truckers in Wyoming are finding the going tough in the recession, and
some smaller companies are selling out.
Obama to offer solidarity to Mexico in drug war
WASHINGTON — Confronting a security threat on America’s doorstep, President Barack
Obama is venturing into the heart of Mexico. His swift diplomatic mission is meant to show
solidarity with a neighbor — and to prove that the U.S. is serious about halting the deadly flow of
drugs and weapons.
Port of Tacoma unveils truck plan
The Port Commission for the Port of Tacoma in Washington State, one of the largest container
ports in North America, recently authorized a market-based program to help reduce
over-the-road emissions from the oldest heavy-duty vehicles hauling in and out of the Port.
Trucking industry cautious on calling bottom for economy
Though the Federal Reserve is expressing cautious optimism that the U.S. economy may be
stabilizing, albeit at a weak level, many observers within trucking feel the recession hasn't yet
reached a firm bottom.
Flooding closes Manitoba’s main highway link to U.S.
WINNIPEG -- After threatening to flood Manitoba communities for weeks, the Red River could
reach its highest levels in Winnipeg as early as Wednesday, forecasters have predicted.
West Virginia eyes 60 percent toll increase for trucks
As part of a plan unveiled by the West Virginia Parkways Authority, tolls on the state turnpike
would increase by 60 percent for five-axle commercial vehicles. The current base toll for
commercial trucks is $4.25, which would increase to $6.75 as part of the turnpike plan
announced Friday, April 10.
DOE Predicts $2.27 Diesel This Summer
In its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Agency predicted this
week that diesel fuel prices, which averaged $4.37 per gallon last summer, will average $2.27
this summer. The DOE agency predicts diesel prices will average $2.30 in 2009 and and $2.69
next year.
Vermont Senate panel boots fuel tax hike from transportation budget
An effort to add a nickel to the tax applied to fuel purchases in the Green Mountain State was
sidetracked in the state’s Senate. A Senate committee removed two fuel tax increases from the
House transportation budget.
Cummins Drops ComfortGuard APU
The slack economy and low sales have caused Cummins Inc. to drop its ComfortGuard
auxiliary power unit, but it will continue to honor warranties for those in use and support them
indefinitely with parts and service.
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Obama, Calderon Agree to Resolve Trucking Conflict, But No Details
At their meeting in Mexico City last week, President Barack Obama and Mexican President
Felipe Calderon announced that they are committed to resolve the fight over long-distance
cross-border trucking between the U.S. and Mexico, but could not provide any details on how
they would do so.
Government One Step Closer to Greenhouse Gas Regulation
Expect to see some sort of action taken toward federal regulation of greenhouse gas
emissions, now that the Environmental Protection Agency has officially said greenhouse gases
contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare.
Longer and Heavier Trucks? Not This Year
The trucking industry most likely will not be receiving any relief from Washington in areas of
improved productivity through greater use of longer and heavier trucks. This is a double-edged
sword. On one hand, some truckload carriers could have benefited from the more productive
vehicles. However, on the other hand, the capital expenditures for the additional equipment
plus the likely rate cuts that would have occurred with the additional capacity probably would not
have been worthwhile for the industry.
Court dismisses OOIDA lawsuit on cross-border trucking
GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today dismissed a lawsuit filed by the
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association against the Department of Transportation in
connection with the Cross Border Demonstration Project.
Use saved money on other projects, LaHood tells states
WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has reminded the nation’s governors
and state Secretaries of Transportation that any money they save on transportation projects
paid for with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars must be used for additional
transportation projects.
Despite Economic Changes, 'Fundamentals of Business Are Enduring,' says ATD
Chairman
Amidst one of the worst U.S. economic downturns, the chairman of the American Truck Dealers
Saturday commended his fellow dealers for attending the group's annual convention in
Washington, D.C., and encouraged them to think beyond depressing headlines.
Trucking industry talks finance
The trucking industry will be involved in the Government’s future consultations about the
availability of credit to businesses, following a meeting between industry representatives and
the Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy Dr Craig
Emerson.
Weyerhaeuser to close trucking operation
MILLERSBURG, Ore. — Workers at the Weyerhaeuser Trucking Division in Millersburg have
been told the facility will close by the end of June at a cost of 75 jobs.
Coast Guard Proposes TWIC Refinement
The U.S. Coast Guard is asking for comments on ideas it has to improve the Transportation
Worker Identification Credential.
Ontario Announces Pilot Program to Allow Rocky Mountain Doubles
Ontario will allow up to 100 longer combination vehicles to participate in a pilot project where
specially certified drivers will pull two 53-foot trailers, known as Rocky Mountain doubles.
Roadranger executive: Trucking’s "been this bad before"
WASHINGTON. With the economy still in turmoil and new, stricter emission regulations on the
near horizon, it's easy for those in trucking to get stuck in "panic mode."
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Geithner grilled by watchdogs
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) -- A bailout oversight committee on Tuesday asked Treasury
Secretary Tim Geithner to explain the agency's handling of the controversial $700 billion bailout
program.
Rep. Boozman says Americans would pay for infrastructure if they see benefit
WASHINGTON — Americans will support paying more for highways and bridges when they
know they’ll benefit from the money spent, Rep. John Boozman, R-Ark., believes.
Motorists concerned with aggressive driving while guilty themselves
WASHINGTON — As many as 56 percent of deadly vehicle crashes involve one or more unsafe
driving behaviors typically associated with aggressive driving, according to a new analysis
released today by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The analysis of National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration data shows speeding is the most common contributing factor and is
involved in nearly one in three deadly crashes.
Traffic continues decline on Macquarie roads
Toll roads operated by Macquarie partnerships, including the Indiana Toll Road and Chicago
Skyway, continued to see traffic decline in the first quarter of 2009.
Ports Take LNG View
Harbor truckers in Southern California are proving resilient, purchasing more than 3,500
clean-diesel vehicles since the Los Angeles-Long Beach clean-trucks programs were
launched last October. The motor carriers now are being asked to do still more by investing in
costly trucks powered by liquefied natural gas.
Iowa Could be Latest State to Mandate Biodiesel
As Iowa lawmakers head into what could be the final week of their legislative session, still on
the table is a bill that would require biodiesel blends in the state.
Caterpillar posts loss, hurt by weak sales, layoff charge
PITTSBURGH — Caterpillar Inc., the world's largest maker of construction and mining
equipment, on Tuesday reported a first-quarter loss compared with a year-ago profit, hurt by a
big charge for layoffs and sharp sales declines across the globe.
Eaton Reports Near-Record Cash Flow, $50 Million Net Loss for Quarter
Eaton Corp. announced a net loss of $50 million, or a loss of 30 cents per share, for the first
quarter of 2009, with near record cash generation during the quarter.
NorCal Kenworth Moves to Anderson
NorCal Kenworth recently relocated to a newly refurbished facility in Anderson, Calif., that
doubles the size of its former location in Redding and provides convenient freeway access.
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Economy keeps truck drivers idled
Many have their engines running and truckers inside sleeping or watching TV; cooking or
talking on unlimited cell phone plans; playing videod games or working on laptops to set up the
next load.
Judge kills parts of ports' clean-truck program
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge Monday shot down several controversial measures included in
the ports' clean-truck program, ruling that local authorities cannot implement an
employee-driver mandate or place parking restrictions on trucks, among other measures,
pending the outcome of a trial later this year.
Trucking Faces Core Changes, Hebe Says
OXON HILL, Md. — The entire North American trucking industry is in the midst of a fundamental
reshaping, which will lead to flat tonnage levels for fleets and fewer truck manufacturers
producing much more expensive vehicles and mostly in Mexico, said a senior executive of
Navistar Inc.
Bad on top of bad: trucking bankruptcies continue, tonnage takes 4.5% plunge
NEW YORK — Things are bad in the trucking industry, but they're not bad enough, an analyst
said Monday, The Associated Press reported.
ATA applauds the introduction of anti-privatization legislation
ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) applauds U.S. Senators Jeff
Bingaman, D-N.M., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, for their introduction of the “Transportation
Access for All Americans Act,” (S. 885) and the “Transportation Equity for All Americans Act” (S.
884) on April 24, an ATA news release stated.
Safety Technology Tax Credit Bill Introduced
Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) last week re-introduced the
Commercial Motor Vehicle Advanced Safety Technology Tax Act of 2009 (H.R. 2024)
California Energy Commission Adopts Far-Reaching Green Transportation Plan
The California Energy Commission this week adopted the state's first transportation
Investment Plan.
Trucking: mostly business as usual regarding swine flu; some precautions taken
For trucking it's mostly business as usual thus far regarding the swine flu outbreak in Mexico
but some companies are taking precautions.
Number Of Fatal Crashes Involving Large Trucks Lowest In 10 Years
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos announced that
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Safety Administration’
s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) indicates that the number of fatal crashes in
Florida involving large trucks, greater than 10,000 lbs., is the lowest since 1997.
Coal haulers can now get liability coverages from Progressive
Progressive Commercial Insurance is now offering liability insurance for coal haulers.
CARB Adopts Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
The California Air Resources Board Thursday adopted a regulation that will implement Gov.
Schwarzenegger's Low Carbon Fuel Standard calling for the reduction of greenhouse gas
emissions from California's transportation fuels by 10 percent by 2020.
Port of LA solar power project finally gets moving
With more than 300 days of annual sunshine and enough open space to park tens of
thousands of unsold cars, the world's largest megaships and more than a few shipping
containers, the port seems to be a perfect place for a solar power plant.
Maritime industry, SPA tout new green initiatives to reduce emissions
Maritime-related businesses and the S.C. State Ports Authority announced a series of green
initiatives last week.
Republic Services, Mack Partner to Test Hybrid, SCR
Republic Services and Mack Trucks have formed a partnership that allows Republic to field-test
four pre-production diesel garbage trucks equipped with selective catalytic reduction technology
and to field test the first American-built Mack Diesel Hybrid garbage truck.
On-highway diesel drops down a couple more cents
The price of on-highway diesel edged down slightly in all reporting regions, the Energy
Information Administration reported today, with the national average dropping from $2.221 a
week ago to $2.201 today, a decrease of 2.0 cents.
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Pandemic fears push energy prices down again
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Oil prices fell for a second straight day Tuesday on fears that the outbreak
of swine flu would delay an economic recovery and further dampen energy demand.
Judge to enjoin key aspects of California ports’ concession plans
The American Trucking Associations said that today Judge Christina Snyder of the U.S. District
Court for the Central District of California, following the March 20 guidance of the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, made a tentative ruling to enjoin some of the principal elements of
the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles’ concession plans.
When does the trucking industry hit bottom?
Analysts state that the trucking industry needs another 5% contraction in capacity before rates
stabilize. Meanwhile the race to the bottom is on.
US truck tonnage plummets; unable to sustain early momentum
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Two consecutive months of increases in US truck tonnage came to a
screeching halt in March, with the index plunging 4.5% and undoing all the early gains of 2009.
Global trade analysts forecast modest recovery next year, broader rebound in 2011
We’ll all have to wait for the freight. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it’s coming a
little next year and more in 2011, global trade analysts forecast today.
Report: Highway and Bridge Spending Needs to Double Just to Keep Up
By 2015, a new report says, governments at all levels will need to more than double their
spending on highways and bridges to keep up with increased traffic, freight congestion, the
demands of aging highways and bridges, and the growth of the nation's population.
CARB Approves $42 million in Grants
The California Air Resources Board last week approved $42 million in AB 118 Air Quality
Improvement Program projects that will accelerate the commercialization of clean
engine technologies.
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Death of Trucker Prompts Truck Parking Bill
A bill in the U.S. House of Representatives would provide grant money to increase security and
improve conditions for truck parking across the country.
Swine flu nothing for truckers to snort at
WASHINGTON -- There's concern among truckers and traders that escalating fears over swine
flue could restrict the flow of goods between the Canada-U.S.-Mexico borders.
Obama has yet to name FMCSA chief 100 days into job
WASHINGTON — One hundred days into his administration, President Barack Obama has yet
to nominate a candidate for a key post in the Department of Transportation.
Top lawmaker wants mileage-based tax on vehicles
WASHINGTON — A House committee chairman said Tuesday that he wants Congress to enact
a mileage-based tax on cars and trucks to pay for highway programs now rather than wait years
to test the idea.
SPIN METER: The politics of counting stimulus jobs
SILVER SPRING, Md. — When Ed Pegler was laid off from his highway construction job four
months ago, the 47-year-old father of two didn’t know when he’d be back to work. Then the
phone rang. There was a job, paid for by the federal stimulus law.
New Hampshire House approves 15-cent fuel tax increase
To help finance its $11.5 billion state budget, the New Hampshire House endorsed several
new taxes and increased others. In a move that is likely to make truckers cringe, lawmakers
also approved boosting the state’s tax applied to fuel purchases during the next few years.
New Jersey police issued 120,000 cell-phone tickets in one year
Police in New Jersey have written about 120,000 tickets since the use of hand-held cell phones
and texting by motorists was banned March 1, 2008.
Survey: Fleets Need to be More Aware of Counterfeits
Fleet managers and technicians need to be more aware of the problem of counterfeit parts and
how to identify them, according to a survey by the Technology and Maintenance Council of the
American Trucking Associations.
Appeals Court: Flying J Can't Require Merchants to Accept Card
A federal appeals court ruled that just because Flying J has a licensing agreement giving it
access to Comdata's credit car processing network, that doesn't mean Flying J can require
merchants to accept proprietary functions on its trucker fleet cards.
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Bill introduced to fund increased security, improved conditions at truck stops
WASHINGTON —  U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., has introduced a bill in the House of
Representatives that would provide grant money to increase security and improve conditions at
truck stops across the country.
L.A. judge's ruling halts parts of port concession plans
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge today temporarily halted several requirements of concession
plans at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, including a mandate for independent
drivers to become employees of trucking companies.
Event Looks for Ways to Drive Trucking Efficiency Forward
Finding ways to transform an industry described as disconnected, entangled, costly,
entrenched, and conservative was the challenge of 40 experts gathered at Rocky Mountain
Institute's April 14-16 Transformational Trucking Charrette in Denver.
[Pay close attention to this...potential trouble for us truckers. (~SS~)]
February NAFTA trade down a record 31 percent
WASHINGTON — Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was 30.9 percent lower
in February 2009 than in February 2008, dropping to $47.9 billion. The result was the biggest
year-to-year percentage decline on record, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics
(BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Mission, Texas
Officials in Mission, Texas, announced the Anzalduas International Crossing, America's newest
border crossing into Mexico, will be finished later this fall.
Did Mexican trucker have flu or tonsilitis?
MEXICO CITY — Mexico took even more drastic action to squelch a swine flu epidemic,
ordering a suspension of private business activity and nonessential federal government
activities, as the World Health Organization ratcheted up an alert, warning that "all of humanity"
is threatened.
Vero Beach TA Reopens After Renovations
TravelCenters of America announced the completion of its Vero Beach, Fla., renovation project.
Capacity rationalization still needed in trucking industry
This article, while sounding draconian, accurately reflects the trucking industry's excess
capacity still chasing too little demand.  So, what is the impact, now and in the future, between
transportation suppliers and consumers?
Court Confirms Clean-Trucks Ruling
U.S. District Court Judge Christina A. Snyder on April 29 issued a final ruling confirming her
preliminary ruling on Monday that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach may continue to
enforce certain provisions in their concession agreements, but not those concession
requirements that the trucking industry finds especially onerous.
Editorial: Heavier truck plan needs separate debate
The move to allow heavier trucks on the nation's interstate highways is significant and should
be fully debated by Congress.
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