The American Driver
From Drivers...For Drivers
What's News - August 2009
Senate passes quick fix for highway fund
WASHINGTON — Congress has come to the rescue of three recession-hit federal programs,
including the highway program, that face serious disruptions in services while lawmakers are
on vacation in August.
Oakland Harbor vote could have impact beyond West Coast
OAKLAND, Calif. — As expected, the Oakland, Calif., Harbor Commission yesterday passed a
resolution urging Congress to change federal transportation law to give ports and local
government entities the authority to set and enforce trucking standards, specifically who can
and can’t haul goods in and out of ports.
May NAFTA trade falls record 35.4 percent from 2008
WASHINGTON — Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was 35.4 percent lower
in May 2009 than in May 2008, the biggest decline from the same month of the previous year on
record, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of
Transportation.
Obama's Reagan Fixation Doesn't Add Up
ACCORDING TO FOLKLORE, RONALD REAGAN NEVER saw a tax cut he didn't like. So what
reason could Team Obama have for invoking the Gipper whenever it references its proposed
28% rate on charitable deductions for the wealthiest taxpayers?
Critics decry closures
Stopping for a stretch of the legs or a trip to the restroom is a vanishing option along interstates
here and across the country as states scramble to whittle strapped budgets.
Bill looks to give truckers tax break on APU purchases
Truck drivers could save up to $3,000 on the purchase of some idling-reduction equipment, if
one recently introduced congressional measure is approved. Introduced on Wednesday, July
29, by U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR, and Kay Granger, R-TX, the Idling Reduction Tax
Credit Act - HR 3383 - would provide a 50 percent tax credit of up to $3,000 for any truck owner
purchasing an idling-reduction unit.
Navistar to tack on $8,000 for 2010 emission-compliant equipment
International trucks with a MaxxForce 11, 13 or 15 under the hood will cost $8,000 more in 2010
thanks to the new emission standards.
Oregon governor signs emissions bill into law
Oregon has officially approved global warming legislation that may eventually require stringent
emissions retrofits for commercial trucks. Last week, Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed
House Bill 2186 into law. HB2186 addresses climate change by requiring the state to
implement a low-carbon fuel standard and to study several possible commercial truck
requirements.
Oregon governor signs $1 billion transportation bill with weight-mile tax increase
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski on Wednesday, July 29, signed into law the biggest transportation
package in the state's history. It raises gas taxes, weight-mile taxes and vehicle fees to
generate $300 million annually for road and bridge fixes.
Port of Oakland distributes grants for retrofits, new trucks
Truckers at the Port of Oakland may have an opportunity to upgrade their truck at a reduced
price. The Port of Oakland and several other government agencies are partnering for a $22
million clean trucks program aimed at reducing emissions from older drayage trucks.
 
[ Top Of Page ]
 
Cap and Trade: Trucking Beware
The U.S. House of Representatives spent much of June debating the merits of the so-called
Cap and Trade Bill, HR 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACESA), and
ultimately narrowly passed the legislation.
Cleaning & greening the ports
Port drivers were hard hit by the 1980 deregulation of the trucking industry. As a result, most are
now classified as “independent contractors.” They must buy and maintain their trucks, and lack
both benefits and the right to organize for better conditions.
[ Interesting article if you're all about corporate & gov't control. (~SS~) ]
Gasoline-diesel 'Cocktail': A Potent Recipe For Cleaner, More Efficient Engines
Diesel and gasoline fuel sources both bring unique assets and liabilities to powering internal
combustion engines. But what if an engine could be programmed to harvest the best
properties of both fuel sources at once, on the fly, by blending the fuels within the combustion
chamber?
House Bill Would Give Tax Credit for APUs
A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would provide up to $3,000 in tax credit for
fleets to purchase auxiliary power units.
Port unveils cleaner diesel for idling ships
A presentation officially unveiling a new, cleaner diesel fuel was given to media atop the 860-
foot Matson tanker M/V Manoa at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 18 on Harbor Island Friday, July
31.
7 Tips For Wireless Mobile Computing Success
It wasn't that long ago that wireless mobile computing was seen as a necessary workforce
productivity tool only for a select few companies.
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Obama calls summit on distracted driving
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will convene a summit of experts to figure out
what to do about the problem of texting while driving, a practice studies and a growing number
of accidents show can be deadly.
[ States are already dealing with this issue.  Can anyone else see a Constitutional violation by the
federal gov't coming. (~SS~) ]
PREVIEW-Industry, truckers to seek energy speculation curbs
WASHINGTON, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Groups representing industrial and transportation companies
on Wednesday will call on the U.S. futures market regulator to crack down on speculators
blamed for wild swings in energy prices that have hit consumers and raised costs for
businesses.
Convoy for a Cure to hold U.S. event
The first U.S.-based Convoy for a Cure, a one-day fundraising event for female drivers and
those in the transportation industry, will be held October 24, 2009, to raise money for breast
cancer research. The convoy will take place at the Willie’s Place at Carl’s Corner Truck Stop
near Hillsboro, Texas.
Truckers applaud anti-idle tax credits in U.S.
WASHINGTON -- A hard fought lobbying campaign for green tax credits in the U.S. has been
won, and the American Trucking Associations couldn't be happier.
[ This is not "Truckers," it's "Trucking Corporations." And we will expect these corporations to
put APU's on their rigs to aid their company drivers with idling regulations...as well as providing
adequate, safe living conditions in company equipment for their drivers. (~SS~) ]
South Dakota lawmaker pushes to lower drinking age
In an effort to make roadways safer, a South Dakota state lawmaker is taking a different path.
Rep. Tim Rounds, R-Pierre, would like to reduce the state's drinking age in certain instances if
it doesn't mean sacrificing federal highway money. He wants to allow people under 21 to drink
in controlled settings, such as bars or with adults.
[ Take notice it states "allowing people under 21 to drink alcohol at bars or with adults.  Younger
drunk drivers trying to get home from the bars.  This is real responsible Mr. Rounds. (~SS~) ]
New Jersey’s snow-free vehicle mandate awaits governor’s signature
A bill atop the governor’s desk would get tough with drivers in New Jersey who fail to clear
snow and ice off their vehicles. The rule would apply to commercial and non-commercial
vehicles.
Trailer factory keeps on trucking
It's hard to imagine how a business breaks into a market making equipment that sells for tens
of thousands of dollars when it's also vulnerable to the economic swings of the day.
House bill calls for federal tax on mileage
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR, introduced a bill that would establish a federal pilot program to
study vehicle miles traveled, or VMT, as a possible supplement to or possible replacement for
the current per-gallon fuel tax. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association believes
that although a VMT tax has captured the imagination of some, it remains unproven, even as
states like Blumenauer's home state of Oregon continue to study it.
Oregon to start implementing biodiesel mandate Aug. 5
Starting this week, nine counties in northwest Oregon will be required to sell diesel fuel that
contains at least 2 percent biodiesel. The rest of the state will make the switch Oct. 1. The city of
Portland has required a 5 percent biodiesel blend to be sold at stations since August 2007.
Agency files paperwork to end Los Angeles port investigation
A federal agency that oversees major shipping ports as related to the flow of interstate
commerce appears to be finished investigating two major West Coast ports.
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Reuters: Calderon to press Obama for resolution to Mexico truck dispute
WASHINGTON — Mexican President Felipe Calderon will press President Barack Obama
Sunday for a quick resolution to a cross-border trucking dispute that prompted Mexico to
retaliate on $2.4 billion of U.S. goods, a news agency reported today.
[ Mexico didn't participate in RoadCheck 2009, have yet to get control over drug cartels and still
have not achieved equivalent truck safety standards...yet they want the border open and Obama's
determined to make it happen. (~SS~) ]
Daimler tacks $9,000 on 2010 big bore engines
PORTLAND, Ore. - Daimler Trucks North America has released pricing for meeting EPA2010
standards with its Detroit Diesel BlueTec or Cummins mid-range engine emissions
technologies.
Minnesota leaders: 2,130 jobs from road stimulus so far
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Eager to show the federal stimulus package is working, Minnesota
transportation leaders said Wednesday that it has supported 2,130 direct road construction
jobs in the state so far.
[Has anyone brothered to ask these leaders what happened to the normal federal highway dollars
that funds these particular road projects? (~SS~) ]
On the Waterfront: The Struggle for Sustainable Port Trucking
America’s teeming harbors are the lifeblood of global commerce. But for the truck drivers who
keep the shipping industry flowing, and the communities living downwind, the bustling ports
emit a peculiar kind of poison.
ATA Urges Transparency to Curb Excessive Energy Speculation
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) must act to increase transparency in
energy markets and curtail excessive speculation by establishing aggregate position limits,
said Schneider National Inc. Vice President Steven Graham at a Commission hearing.
UPS Employees Say They Were Forced to Lobby Against FedEx
In an increasingly bitter Washington battle between the nation's two largest shipping
companies, some unionized UPS workers say they are being forced to write letters to their
lawmakers in support of more stringent labor rules for arch rival FedEx.
OOIDA urges SBA nominee to commit to reducing regulatory burden
One of the top complaints many small-business truckers have is the amount of regulatory red
tape they must endure to keep their businesses both compliant – and competitive – in today’s
tough economic climate.
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What is the Highway Trust Fund without trust?
Truckers are demanding that the "trust" be put back into the Highway Trust Fund in the
aftermath of a federal report, which revealed that $78 billion was spent on things other than
highways.
President Obama OKs $7 billion for Highway Trust Fund
President Obama heeded the call of Congress. On Friday, Aug. 7, he signed a bill into law to
shore up the Highway Trust Fund with $7 billion from the Treasury.
Rhode Island handing out $3,000 fines on Pawtucket bridge
Truckers continue to get busted crossing a weight-limited bridge in Providence, RI, and the
fines aren't cheap: $3,000 for an offense and up to $5,000 for a repeat offender.
$300 refund to some owner-operators
Thousands of truckers with their own authority are receiving letters from the Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Administration informing them they're entitled to a $300 refund. The letters apply
to truckers who were charged $300 for common carrier authority and another $300 for contract
carrier authority.
Unemployment scales back in July; trucking loses 6,800 jobs
WASHINGTON  — Employers sharply scaled back layoffs in July, and the unemployment rate
dipped for the first time in 15 months, sending a strong signal that the worst recession since
World War II is finally ending.
Cascade Sierra Solutions gets $22.2 million for truck stop electrification
COBURG, Ore. — This week President Obama announced the largest investment in electric
vehicle technologies ever. Included in the package was $22.2 million awarded to Cascade
Sierra Solutions (CSS), a nonprofit organization based in Coburg, Ore., to advance truck stop
electrification infrastructures.
APU funds available for Dallas-area truck owners
Truckers from the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area have an opportunity to purchase and
install APUs for half the standard cost.
Wisconsin lawmakers OK purchase of high-speed trains
Wisconsin lawmakers are moving forward with a controversial purchase of high-speed trains
from a Spanish company. In a party line 11-4 vote, the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee
has voted to spend $47.1 million to buy two trains from Patentes Talgo of Spain.
Paterson Would Restrict Trucks From Seven Highways
ALBANY—Gov. David A. Paterson’s proposed new trucking regulations will likely anger truckers
and may invite increased truck traffic around the Capitol in coming weeks.
AAR reports rail freight traffic down in July
WASHINGTON — The Association of American Railroads today reported 1,319,387 carloads of
freight in July 2009, down 17.5 percent (280,659 carloads) compared with July 2008.
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No surprise: Calderon presses Obama on truck issue, Obama says he's committed
to resolving dispute
GUADALAJARA, Mexico —Mexico President Felipe Calderon pressed President Barack Obama
on allowing Mexican trucks access to U.S. highways during talks here Sunday and today, and
the American president — holding true to previous statements — told Calderon that he is
committed to resolving the dispute.
Senate provision provides hope for resolution of tariffs with Mexico
The Senate Appropriations Committee changed the language that was passed in the omnibus
bill in March, which had eliminated a cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico, causing
the country to retaliate with tariffs on $2.4 billion worth of U.S. products. Citing safety concerns,
Congress had added a provision so that such a program could not legally exist.
[ As I said last year...Congress has no intentions on keeping our southern border secured.  They
only passed the shuttering of the cross-border truck program to posture for the people, then wait a
while and change the law. "
Clean House In Congress" (~SS~) ]
Second Defendant in Internet Scheme that Defrauded Trucking Companies
Sentenced to Federal Prison
Several weeks after his codefendant was sent to prison for nearly six years, a Los Feliz man
was sentenced today to 55 months in federal prison for using a federal Internet site and the
United States mails to defraud trucking companies of more than $2.7 million.
Maine truck weight boost makes Atlantic trucking more efficient: APCC
KENTVILLE, N.S. -- Atlantic Truckers and local businesses are applauding the State of Maine's
decision to standardize truck weight restrictions with Eastern Canada.
[ Get ready drivers...you'll soon be handling more weight for the same pennies per mile pay if we
don't come together and stop it. (~SS~) ]
Stimulus forces Ohio city to rethink future
NELSONVILLE, Ohio (AP) - A small city that created a niche for itself as a hub for Appalachian
artists is coming to grips with its stake in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus
package.
ArvinMeritor chief says firm committed to remaining strong in South America
SAO PAULO, Brazil — ArvinMeritor Inc.’s Chairman, CEO and President Chip McClure today
announced that the company is committed to remaining a strong and growing manufacturer
and supplier in South America.
Sen. Thune hears wish list of rural transportation
South Dakota could be penalized by proposals in Congress to target transportation needs in
big cities and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, state Transportation
Secretary Darin Bergquist said Monday.
[ Anyone notice no trucker's are included in these conversations? Big business and gov't...doing
business as usual. (~SS~) ]
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Industry questions arise at Port of Miami rail project picks up steam
A plan for restoring and upgrading direct freight rail access to Miami's seaport is taking shape
as port and rail officials work on federal stimulus funding applications — but the proposed
project is raising questions among industry players.
U.S.-Mexican cross-border trucking commerce stalled
After a two-day meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico, with his North American counterparts,
President Barack Obama left an important matter on the table when he came home this week.
DOT freight index flat in June, still at 12-year low
WASHINGTON — The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) was unchanged in June from
its May level, remaining at its lowest level in 12 years, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s
Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported Wednesday.
FMCSA official: truckers must report chassis issues
A new federal rule aims to hold intermodal equipment providers accountable for the safety and
repair of container chassis, but the rule will only be effective if drivers picking up loads at ports
hold the equipment providers' feet to the fire. That was the message many port truckers heard
Saturday, Aug. 8, at the Owner Operators Coalition of Virginia meeting last weekend at
Hampton Roads, VA. Joe Rajkovacz, OOIDA regulatory affairs specialist, attended the meeting.
Louisiana law to rein in speed traps takes effect Aug. 15
A new rule that is set to take effect this weekend in Louisiana is intended to discourage small
cities and towns from relying on traffic tickets to fill local coffers.
Impact Of Battery Technology Within Industry? History Says...
The referenced Detroit News article outlines where a little over half of the $2.4B Federal Grant
for battery development will go in Michigan and Indiana. The rest will go to a variety of entities,
which opens up discussion on the complexity of an old discussion regarding electric cars.
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Idaho lawmakers may reverse part of roads compromise
BOISE, Idaho — Shifting millions that now go to off-road trail maintenance work to fund highway
repairs was part of a compromise in May that helped end a standoff between the 2009 Idaho
Legislature and Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.
[ Will someone please explain why off-road recreational projects are being paid for with Highway
Trust Fund tax dollars.  Hundreds of millions of Americans can't even afford to use these trails...let
alone the vehicles.  Between the administrative funds the gov't takes, the borrowing for other
expenditures without putting it back and these type of expenditures, it's no wonder our Highway
Trust Fund is on the verge of bankruptcy. (~SS~) ]
Virginia candidate: A conditional ‘yes’ on new taxes for roads
RICHMOND, Va. — Democratic gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds said Wednesday he
would support legislation boosting “revenues” for transportation, but left himself acres of wiggle
room.
Hauling freight
A $47 million federal grant could help upgrade the Harrisburg area's rail freight facilities as part
of the Crescent Corridor projects.
[ This is Norfolk Southern's project which they tout will essentially remove 1 million trucks (jobs)
from the highways while creating up to 16,000 jobs.  And here's Gov. Rendell seeking federal tax
dollars to subsidize Norfolk Southern, touting the creation of 26,000 jobs.  We talked about this on
our radio show a few weeks back, and here it is...our gov't is going to use our tax dollars to build
Norfolk Southern's "Crescent Corridor" and cause hundreds of thousands of more job loses.  
Here's a thought...how about Norfolk Southern invest their money for their project. (~SS~) ]
"35 Percent of Zero" is Not Positive
A leading trucking industry analyst is predicting the demise of YRC Worldwide, the nation's
largest trucking company by revenue. David Ross of Baltimore-based Stifel Nicolaus says that
YRC's bankruptcy, while not imminent, "is becoming increasingly likely." Whether YRC opts for
Chapter 11 reorganization or Chapter 7 liquidation is unclear. For its part, YRC's management
continues to say its restructuring plan is on course despite losses in excess of $2 billion in the
last 10 operating quarters.
Truckers visiting CA ports must sign up with CARB by Sept. 30
Truck owners who make stops at California ports are coming up on an important deadline.
Trucks that visit ports in California are required to be signed up with the California Air
Resources Board's drayage registry by Sept. 30.
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Poll shows most Americans oppose allowing Mexican trucks in U.S.
ASBURY PARK, N.J. — A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 19
percent of Americans say the U.S. Congress should let trucks from Mexico cross the border
and carry their loads on American highways.
[ WARNING TRUCKERS!!! The Senate Appropriations Committee has already changed the
language passed in the omnibus bill last March.  Opening the door to re-open our southern border
to Mexican trucks. (~SS~) ]
2010-Compliant Diesel Truck Price Increases Out - The Changing Purchase
Paradigm
The major truck manufacturers have announced their price increases for 2010 emissions-
compliant engine-powered trucks. For Class 8 trucks, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA)
targeted their SCR “surcharge” at $9,000 - lower than Volvo Trucks SCR at $9,600 and higher
than Navistar A-EGR at $8,000.
We're Going to Do This Until We Get It Right at this YRC Worldwide Unit
Some 2,000 Teamsters at New Penn, YRC Worldwide's Northeast Regional LTL carrier, have
rejected a proposed 5 percent wage cut and pension freeze. Management has said these
cost-cutting moves are necessary to keep struggling YRC Worldwide operating.
Obama picks D.C. lawyer for pipeline, hazmat administrator at DOT
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announced today he was appointing Cynthia L.
Quarterman to be the next administrator of Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration of Department of Transportation.
Semis can drive a little faster now
SPRINGFIELD — A new law that Gov. Pat Quinn signed Friday will make it legal for trucks to
travel along rural interstates at 65 mph, the same speed as other traffic.
Louisiana law limiting left-lane use takes effect Aug. 15
Law enforcement officers in Louisiana this weekend will be allowed to pull over drivers who
hold up traffic by lingering in the left lane. However, the Louisiana State Police will hold off on
issuing tickets through Oct. 1.
MO knows money: Show-me state diesel grant program opens
Truckers from four specific regions in Missouri may be eligible for a grant to retrofit or upgrade
their trucks with emissions-cutting equipment.
Cocaine bust at Canadian-U.S. border
Border agents in Windsor, Ontario, made one of their biggest drug busts ever Tuesday night,
Aug. 11, when they discovered 220 pounds of cocaine in a tractor-trailer crossing into Canada.
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Idling exemption ends, leaves room for Texas-sized enforcement
Truckers stopping in Texas may soon see enforcement of anti-idling rules stepped up as an
exemption of many local government-enforced idling restrictions expires.
[ Not good, drivers.  There are no exemptions within these city and county regulations which allows
for idling during extreme heat and cold conditions.  I am diligently working on a way to counter
idling regulations...not sure if I'll have it all worked out before Sept 1st though.  (~SS~) ]
Mexico replaces customs agents
The Mexican government has replaced all 700 of its customs inspectors at border crossings,
ports and airports. They're being replaced with a force of 1,400 new agents who are mostly
college-educated and are reportedly better trained to sniff out drugs, weapons and consumer
goods that are smuggled into Mexico to avoid import duties.
Climate bill would hurt consumers
Most folks who live in South Carolina are familiar with the saying "it's time to fish or cut bait." As
I followed recent deliberations over the federal cap and trade proposal, otherwise known as the
Waxman-Markey bill and formally known as the "American Clean Energy and Security Act of
2009," it became increasingly obvious that it was time to "cut bait" on this particular piece of
legislation.
Coalition plans anti-cap-and-trade events in coming weeks
WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 18 -- A coalition of more than 100 organizations, including at least 15
oil and gas groups, plans to hold rallies in about 20 states to express concerns about
proposed federal clean air legislation before Congress returns from its August recess.
Sector Snap: Who will win if YRC fails?
Barnes issued an "Underperform" rating on troubled trucking company YRC Worldwide Inc., the
country's largest trucking company. YRC has lost customers as many fear the company might
still file for bankruptcy, despite many drastic cost-saving measures.
Originator of cap-and-trade theory now skeptical of idea
Thomas Crocker, who while a graduate student in the ’60s devised a cap-and-trade system
similar to the one being considered by Congress, now says he’s “skeptical” it’s the best way to
regulate carbon emissions.
Truckers want to be ready in case of pandemic
The role of the trucking industry in dealing with a flu pandemic is expected to be a key topic at
the annual meeting of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association in early October.
Producer Price Index for Finished Goods fell 0.9% in July
The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods declined 0.9 percent in July, seasonally adjusted,
the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on August 18.
NTTC launches new Web site
ARLINGTON, Va. — The ATA-affiliated National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc. (NTTC) Monday, Aug.
17 announced the successful launch of its revamped Web site www.tanktruck.org.
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Truck weight restricted at Wisconsin's busiest interchange
The Wisconsin DOT has announced a truck weight restriction on three ramps of the busy Zoo
Interchange in Milwaukee. More than 350,000 vehicles use the interchange each day, and it is
considered the busiest in the state.
Federal commission says it will enhance oil futures regulation
A U.S. government panel, which oversees stock market trading that directly affects fuel prices at
the pump, says it will work better with a related commission of the United Kingdom government
to boost enforcement of energy futures rules.
Maine transportation panel puts off decision on road funds
Lawmakers in Maine put off any decision on how to trim a mounting backlog of road repairs
until the regular session convenes in January.
[ Where's the stimulus for all these projects? (~SS~) ]
Virginia lawmakers say ‘no’ to bill reopening rest areas
The likelihood of Virginia reopening its closed rest areas anytime soon suffered a blow this
week at the state Capitol. Lawmakers who wanted to take advantage of a special session of
the General Assembly to put before legislators an effort to reopen 18 rest areas will instead
have to wait until next year. The rest areas were closed on July 21.
Truckers brace for economic blows if truck ban is adopted in upstate NY
Despite pleas from the trucking community and businesses that depend on trucks to move
their products, New York Gov. David Paterson recently signed off on a proposed regulation to
ban heavy trucks from certain state routes in the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York. Mike
Joyce, director of legislative affairs in OOIDA’s DC office, said truckers who oppose this reg
need to make their voices heard.
Illinois boosts idling fines
Less than a week after Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn gave truckers a reason to cheer him for his
decision to do away with split speed limits on rural, interstate highways, there likely are quite a
few groans over his decision to boost the fines for idling violations.
North Carolina studying tolls for I-95
Transportation officials in North Carolina have hired consultants to study the feasibility of
converting I-95 into a toll road.
State trooper allegedly stole GPS, tools from trucker
A state trooper in Kansas will face trial in December for allegedly stealing a global positioning
system and other items from a truck driver after the trooper discovered hundreds of pounds of
marijuana in the truck.
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Protesters have sights set on capital
Hundreds of truckers, including a few from the Mid-Valley region, will descend on Sacramento
Friday to protest clean-air rules they say will cripple their industry in the state.
Obama likely to yield on carbon permit auction
Full auctioning is at odds with the clear preference emerging for free allocation in legislation
currently before Congress. The Senate is currently working up proposals in committee for its
version of the Waxman-Markey bill, passed in the House in late June. A complete draft is
expected by September and a full vote on the Senate floor as early as October.
Railways cannot fix road problems
I just finished reading John Hutchinson's article about taking truck traffic off Interstate 81 and
moving it to the rail system.  I'm not sure where he gets his information from regarding the
trucking industry in regards to the rail system. As a former truck driver, you cannot move all truck
traffic to railroads as the rail system cannot handle the commerce that would be demanded of it.
Kennedy’s deregulation legacy
Edward M. Kennedy died Tuesday, and discussion will center on his liberal legacy. But what of
those elements of his conservative legacy? Kennedy was an interesting politician, and when
remembering him, commentators should also remember his push to deregulate America’s
transportation.
Port of Long Beach Won't Join Trucking Regulatory Bid
The Long Beach letter to the Waterfront Coalition and other industry organizations is the latest
development in a controversial movement by port, labor and environmental organizations to
use port clean-air programs as a vehicle for restructuring harbor trucking in the United States.
July tonnage up from June, still down 10 percent from ’08
ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted For-
Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.1 percent in July. In June, tonnage fell 2.4 percent. July’s
gain, which raised the SA index to 101.9 (2000=100), wasn’t large enough to completely offset
the reduction in the previous month.
Lawyers association rakes truck safety record
A lawyers group criticized Iowa trucking firms Wednesday for having a history of safety
violations, but trucking officials responded that their industry is operating more safely than ever.
Vilsack says he'll work for Valley water solutions
FRESNO, Calif.—U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is promising San Joaquin Valley
farmers that he will press the Obama administration for solutions to the region's water crisis.
[ What is the true reason behind the Federal Gov't shutting off the water supply to Central Valley
California? Something is not right when a minnow takes priority over American citizens. (~SS~) ]
75th anniversary of the Minneapolis truck drivers’ strike—Part two
After the success of the February coal strike, the Trotskyists did not sit on their victory. They
made a decision to expand beyond the coal yards and organize all workers across the
transport industry, from drivers and their helpers, to dock or platform workers, to laborers inside
the warehouses.
AAA forecasts less Labor Day travel
NEW YORK — Fewer people will take a vacation this Labor Day weekend than last year, though
cheaper gasoline and an abundance of special holiday deals still promises to make it a busy
weekend at airports and on the highway, auto club AAA said Wednesday.
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FMCSA proposes UCR fee increase
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today published a Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking to establish an increase in the fees that interstate commercial truck and bus
companies, brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies must pay under the Unified
Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan for registration year 2010.
SBA UPDATE: ARC loan money remains out of reach for truckers
For nearly 10 weeks now, small-business truckers nationwide have been trying unsuccessfully
to obtain an America's Recovery Capital - or ARC loan - through the U.S. Small Business
Administration.
June surface trade with Canada and Mexico Fell 31.5% from last year
Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free
Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was 31.5 percent lower in June 2009
than in June 2008
Tea Party event concludes (Part Three)
The day-long Tea Party rally in Sacramento fired up more than 10,000 Patriots and dispelled
myths and argued facts about a variety of hot-button issues, including the plight of Central
California farmers, logging industry, health care and cape-and-trade.
Target, Best Buy, and SmartWay Port Trucks
Second, this partnership may signal the nationalization of California’s clean trucks program.  I’
ve written about this topic several times this year (see ”California and the Trucking Industry“ and
here and here), so I won’t repeat myself again.  Sufficient to say that going “green” always
comes at a price, so shippers can expect increased costs down the road, whether it’s some
form of a “clean trucks” fee implemented by the ports or costs passed on by drayage carriers.
Peterbilt Announces Availability of Natural Gas Powered Vocational and
Aerodynamic...
VANCOUVER, BC and DENTON, TX, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Peterbilt Motors
Company announced that the company is taking immediate orders for the production of its
vocational and aerodynamic vehicles powered by compressed and liquefied natural gas (NG).  
The Model 365 and Model 384 will be offered with the Cummins Westport ISL G and built at
Peterbilt's truck manufacturing facility in Denton, Texas.
Nebraska's 'move over' rule takes effect Aug. 30
Starting this weekend, Nebraska will end its distinction as being one of the few remaining
holdouts from states that require drivers to make room for emergency workers and law
enforcement officers.
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"The Truck Stops Here" Radio Show
Tonight we have Betty Plowman (organizer) and Barry Greathouse (supervisor/dispatcher with
Nordic) joining us to discuss last Friday's protest in California regarding "clean-air rules."  
Show airs tonight 6-8pm cst.  The Texas Broadcasting Network airs on 35 stations across the
country and streams live on the internet at
http://texasbroadcasting.net/chat.html.
Truckers have 39 days left to comment on truck ban in upstate NY
Small-business truckers who haul freight through upstate New York have only 39 more days to
comment on the New York Department of Transportation's proposed regulation to ban trucks
from seven key routes in the Finger Lakes region. The proposed rule was published in the New
York State's Register on /Wednesday, Aug. 26, which triggered a 45-day comment period,
which ends on Oct. 9.
OIG: FMCSA substantially met Mexican truck safety criteria
WASHINGTON — The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation said
in a report released today that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had
either met or “substantially” met the safety criteria set forth in a 2002 appropriations act related
to Mexico-domiciled motor carriers potentially operating beyond narrow commercial zones
along the border.
[ Driver's...preparations are beginning for the re-opening of our southern border to Mexican
trucks.  In my opinion, this report is laying the ground work. (~SS~) ]
Labor Day Travel Alert
Washington D.C. - A new analysis of federal data shows more than 28,000 motor carrier
companies operating over 200,000 trucks have violated federal safety rules. In an effort to
determine how many non-compliant trucks are on the road this Labor Day, the American
Association for Justice reviewed data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
[ The negative propaganda about truck driver's continues.  This association is using data from 2007,
and Virginia accidents...which the association also does not reflect the reality that even the '07
numbers were down significantly from previous years  I will also point out that VA troopers were
forcing truckers to violate HOS reg's and drive tired until TheAmericanDriver fought, and got VA,
to remove this rule last June.  So how many of the 111 deaths were related to truckers being forced
to violate HOS reg's and drive tired?  When will this type of bs stop? (~SS~) ]
Idling exemption ends, leaves room for Texas-sized enforcement
Truckers stopping in Texas may soon see enforcement of anti-idling rules stepped up as an
exemption of many local government-enforced idling restrictions expires. Beginning Tuesday,
Sept. 1, truck drivers are no longer allowed to idle during federally mandated rest periods.
Cities and counties in Texas that enforce idling restrictions have agreed to sign a
memorandum of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that limits idling to five
minutes at a time.
Wildfire threatens truckers' homes in Antelope Valley
Truckers in the Antelope Valley have been carefully monitoring a deadly wildfire, known as the
Station Fire, which has come within miles of their homes.
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