The American Driver
From Drivers - For Drivers
What's News - December 2008
Pilgrim's Pride files for bankruptcy
A mega chicken-processing company that many truckers haul for filed for Chapter 11
bankruptcy protection on Monday, Dec. 1. Pilgrim's Pride, which is headquartered in Pittsburg,
TX, asked the court to approve a $450 million financing agreement.
Tolls increase 40 percent on New Jersey Turnpike, Parkway
A 40 percent toll increase took effect Monday, Dec. 1, on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden
State Parkway as part of a capital plan that includes funding a mass-transit tunnel connecting
New Jersey and New York. The increase is the first of two approved by the New Jersey Turnpike
Authority in October. The next increase is a 50 percent hike in 2012.
Truckers say TWIC hangover staggers traffic at several ports
Every time Joe Meyers pulled into the Port of Savannah Monday he noticed several trucks pulled
over. Some drivers spoke to port police while others waited for escorts into secure areas.
Meyers, an OOIDA member from Savannah, GA, made four trips in and out of the Port of
Savannah on Monday, Dec. 1. The Port of Savannah was one of nine port regions where the
Transportation Worker Identification Credential requirement was enforced for the first time
Monday.
West Virginia authority considering toll increase
Officials in West Virginia are considering a toll increase to make up for falling revenue caused
by a decline in turnpike traffic. A recent independent audit of the West Virginia Parkways,
Economic Development and Tourism Authority showed that turnpike revenue was down 2.8
percent during a 12-month period ending in June.
Slump in activity at LA and Long Beach ports
The California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have seen a big drop in activity, according
to a report Tuesday morning, Dec. 2, on National Public Radio.
New Jersey Assembly panel OKs bill to crack down on road rage
A bill in New Jersey intended to help curb road rage is one step closer to passage. Dubbed
"Jessica's Law," the measure would make such offenses as tailgating and making obscene
gestures while driving primary offenses.
Tire makers feel recession
The people who make the tires for new trucks are feeling the effects of the recession. The
Rubber Manufacturers Association reports it expects to see a 16 percent drop this year in
shipments of new tires to truck manufacturers. That's nearly 4 million fewer tires than were sold
to truck makers in 2007.
 
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Trucking group asks CARB to delay on-road rule
A coalition of nearly 100 California companies is asking the state's Air Resources Board to
delay approval of its proposed diesel truck retrofit rule. Members of Driving Toward a Cleaner
California say that delaying the rule will protect truck owners, grocers, contractors and other
businesses, which already are fighting a recessed economy. Commonly referred to as the
retrofit rule, CARB's "in-use on-road diesel truck rule" phases in model-year engine emission
requirements continually for any trucks traveling on state highways. CARB officials are
scheduled to adopt the regulation at their board meeting Dec. 11-12.
Jury awards victim of Swift driver's crash $23.5 million
A federal jury in Kansas recently awarded one trucker's family more than $20 million for a 2006
accident caused by a Swift driver who tested positive for being under the influence of drugs.
Massachusetts lawmakers discuss privatizing turnpike
A legislative panel in Massachusetts met Wednesday, Dec. 3, to discuss transportation funding
options, including the possibility of leasing the Massachusetts Turnpike to private investors.
Hearing topics include public-private partnerships, Gov. Deval Patrick's proposal to merge
transportation agencies, proposals to increase state fuel taxes and/or Massachusetts Turnpike
tolls, and a review of recommendations made by the state Transportation Finance
Commission.
Chicago to lease parking meters to private business
Chicago officials have already leased the Skyway toll road, Midway International Airport and
downtown parking garages to private operators, and now they're privatizing the city's 36,000
parking meters.
Pennsylvania bill dies; sought to fund roads, bridges without tolls, taxes
The clock has struck midnight on a bipartisan plan in the Pennsylvania House to fund road and
bridge repairs without new taxes or tolls, effectively killing it for the year. It involved rerouting
money that now is used by the State Police from the state's Motor License Fund. The state DOT
controls the Motor License Fund, which is supported by the state's fuel tax, motor vehicle
license and registration fees, as well as other fees. The State Police receive $500 million
annually from the fund.
Congestion pricing coming to Atlanta
By 2011, highway users in the Atlanta region will have a choice to pay a toll to drive in lanes
being designed to reduce congestion. The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a
$110 million grant to implement congestion pricing on 49 miles of Interstate 85, Interstate 75
and Interstate 20.
Kentucky bills would limit driver distractions
In preparation for the start of the upcoming regular session in Kentucky, lawmakers are
prefiling legislation they are hopeful will wind its way through the statehouse. Two efforts are
intended to reduce driver distractions.
Iowa tests laser-guided snowplows
Iowa has joined a growing number of states that are trying out a new, high-tech method of
plowing snow. They're using a laser beam that projects a green dot about 60 feet ahead on the
right-hand shoulder, which shows the driver where the so-called "wing plow" is headed.
SPECIAL REPORT: OOIDA says Pennsylvania toll increases will hurt truckers
Dec. 4, 2008 - Truckers already faced with razor thin profit margins and tight delivery schedules
are hard-pressed to justify paying 25 percent more to use the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
YRC, Teamsters strike deal; more companies calling for relief
The deal for relief from union agreements brokered between YRC and the International
Brotherhood of Teamsters apparently paved the way for more companies to attempt deals with
various labor unions.
Fed sees weak transportation activity
The Federal Reserve Bank reported on Wednesday, Dec. 3, that the trucking business is
expected to remain in a slump for at least the first three months of 2009.
Shady broker serving 51-month sentence hasn't paid restitution
The Member Assistance Department of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
recalls countless trucking operations that lost hundreds and thousands of dollars at a time to
John Russell - the one-time broker who evaded federal authorities for years. Russell hasn't
paid a dime of his court-ordered $165,000 in restitution, according to the federal prosecutor
who pursued Russell's recent 51-month prison sentence.
Truckers snowbound in Colorado on I-70 to receive survival kits
It was snowing along the Front Range in Colorado Thursday, Dec. 4, with northern areas
expected to get up to 7 inches. And, although Interstate 70 remained open, there's a plan to
help eastbound truckers when the interstate is closed at Vail Pass.
New Jersey bill would rely on speeders to pay for patrols
With the end of the year approaching, time is running out on a bill in New Jersey that would tap
drivers caught speeding to help offset the charge that small towns must pay for State Police
patrols.
Ontario 'green' truck incentives draw praise and skepticism
The government of Ontario has promised to chip in on up to one-third of the cost of anti-idling
equipment for long haulers and up to one-third of the cost of new alternative-fueled vehicles in
the medium-duty class.
Florida lawmakers pursue primary seat belt enforcement, young driver limits
A legislative effort in Florida to make failure to buckle up a primary offense has been renewed.
Another bill would put in place passenger limits for young drivers.
Capitol Christmas tree hauler heads back to work
OOIDA member Gordy Grove of Langley, WA, said it is back to business as usual for him now
that he's delivered his precious cargo - the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree - to its new home on the
West Lawn of the Capitol in Washington, DC.
$25 oil, $1 gas?
Oil industry analysts at Merrill Lynch say the price of oil could fall to as low as $25 a barrel in
2009 - before moving up again. And the CEO of Gulf Oil says the price of gas could drop to $1 a
gallon before long.
Jury awards victim of Swift driver's crash $23.5 million
A federal jury in Kansas recently awarded one trucker's family more than $20 million for a 2006
accident caused by a Swift driver who tested positive for being under the influence of drugs.
New Pennsylvania laws address minor offenses, license plates, OOS orders
Two new laws in Pennsylvania are intended to benefit people who stay out of trouble and allow
others to keep their license plates longer. Out-of-service orders also are addressed.
Celadon buys Continental Express
Celadon Group, based in Indianapolis, has paid $24 million for Continental Express, a
23-year-old company based in Little Rock, AR.
Virginia bills would prohibit 'texting,' talking on the phone while driving
Two efforts offered for consideration in Virginia during the 2009 regular session would prohibit
drivers from text messaging and chatting on the phone while driving.
OOIDA position represented at Pennsylvania transportation forum
An official with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association participated in a
transportation funding symposium Friday, Dec. 5, in Clarion, PA.
Truckers to protest speed limiters in Ontario
Small-business truckers in Ontario don't plan on taking a government mandate for speed
limiters lying down. A protest in the works is to take place Dec. 19.
U.S. Rep. says Lockheed lost 3,000 TWIC applications
A major defense contractor handling the Transportation Worker Identification Credential has
lost 3,000 applications for the program, the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on
Homeland Security announced last week.
Government’s freight index shows first gain in two months
WASHINGTON — The Freight Transportation Services Index rose 1 percent in October from its
September level, rising after two consecutive monthly declines, the U.S. Department of
Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported.
Obama puts infrastructure at center stage
The nation's infrastructure is at the center of President-elect Barack Obama's plans to stimulate
the economy and create jobs. Obama has called for $500 billion to be invested into roads,
bridges and other infrastructure as part of a plan to improve transportation and create 2.5
million jobs by 2011.
Owner Operators Coalition of Virginia hires trucker as PR director
A recently formed coalition of port truck drivers at Hampton Roads, VA, has promoted a truck
driver to work full time on port issues. The Owner Operators Coalition of Virginia recently
promoted Paul Yurkovac to the position of director of public relations and project coordinator.
Idaho governor outlines transportation funding legislation
Once the Idaho Legislature opens its 2009 regular session, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter will call on
lawmakers to increase the state's fuel tax, raise registration fees for vehicles and take more
steps to help pay for road and bridge work.
Effort to ban open containers offered in Virginia
A legislative effort filed in Virginia in the lead-up to the 2009 regular session seeks to ban
consumption and possession of open containers of alcohol in vehicles traveling public
roadways. The bill would free up millions in federal dollars for improving roads.
Diesel drops another 10 cents to $2.515 nationwide
The national average price for diesel continues to drop as the Energy Information
Administration is reporting another 10-cent drop to $2.515 per gallon on Monday, Dec. 8. The
EIA also reports that diesel is down at least 81 cents from this same week in 2007.
Gov. Blagojevich, aide arrested on corruption charges
The FBI arrested Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich early Tuesday morning on charges that included
solicitation of bribes. His chief of staff, John Harris, was also taken into custody.
Energy department lowers price projections for diesel, oil in 2009
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is projecting that both diesel fuel and crude oil
prices will drop in 2009, citing the "current global economic slowdown" as the reason for the
price decreases.
Werner brass get bonuses
The top executives at Omaha-based Werner Enterprises are getting some nice Christmas gifts
this year. The Associated Press reported that the top four officers will share more than $1
million in bonuses, with the CEO and chairman each receiving $350,000.
Fuel tax hike sought in New Hampshire
Concern about how to fund road and bridge work has lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in
New Hampshire looking into a fuel tax increase.
Canadian prime minister suspends Parliament, again
For the second time since early September, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper acted to
suspend Parliament in an effort to preserve the Conservative Party's political standing as the
party in power.
Trucker disabled by fertilizer exposure awarded $1.4 million
A jury awarded a former trucker from Oroville, CA, $1. 4 million after he was permanently
disabled by exposure to a toxic chemical fertilizer.
SPECIAL REPORT: Ontario lawmaker questions rationale behind speed limiters
Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008 - A provincial lawmaker in Ontario is questioning the government's
rationale behind making speed limiters mandatory as truckers continue to struggle in a
downturned economy.
Trucker's generosity saves Christmas parade for Florida kids
In Ocala, FL, 60 students from Dr. N.H. Jones Elementary School dressed up as elves and
fairies for the annual Christmas parade through downtown. But the tractor that was supposed
to pull their float broke down at the last minute.
Truckers hauled 9 billion tons in 2007
If you are asked how much you hauled last year, just say 9 billion tons. You personally may not
have hauled that much - but America's truckers did.
Michigan bills for reducing gridlock, advising truckers of 'frost laws'
With time winding down on the legislative session in Michigan, there is a late push to pass bills
intended to reduce gridlock caused by wrecks and to notify truckers about seasonal weight
restrictions.
Blagojevich urged to resign; impeachment a possibility
In the wake of his indictment on federal corruption charges, several leading lawmakers on both
sides of the aisle in Illinois are calling on Gov. Rod Blagojevich to resign.
Driver, foreign national sentenced for cocaine hauls
Two men driving a commercial truck containing cocaine earlier this year were sentenced this
month to serve several years each in prison.
Has APU-maker IdleBuster been parked permanently?
In early December, Steve Wolfe saw the words he'd been expecting to hear for months. OX
Brands, parent company of the APU manufacturer IdleBuster, recently posted a message on
the IdleBuster Web site saying the company had suspended operations and apparently may
never return.
Quebec leader wins third term, increases power
Quebec Liberal Party Leader Jean Charest won a third term as premier and increased his
party's power in provincial government on Monday, Dec. 8.
Yucca Mountain 'full' even before it accepts any nuclear waste
The repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada is technically "full" even before any nuclear waste
is shipped there to be stored.
Volvo Trucks salutes drivers with a holiday dinner on Dec. 24
Plenty of drivers end up on the road over the holidays, rather than being with their families.
Volvo Trucks North America is teaming up with Michelin and Flying J to salute these drivers,
showing appreciation by providing truckers a free holiday dinner on Christmas Eve.
Not so fast: Special session set to remove Blago's power to appoint senator
Despite assurances from Gov. Rod Blagojevich that business in the state's government will
carry on as usual following his indictment on federal corruption charges, state lawmakers are
planning to meet in special session next week to take some of his power away.
New Jersey bills would put restrictions on young drivers
The New Jersey Senate approved multiple measures that put restrictions on the youngest
drivers in the state. Other restrictions on those drivers are also drawing consideration.
SPECIAL REPORT: FMCSA names 16 deadly sins for new entrants
Monday, Dec. 15, 2008 - New motor carriers face losing their authority if they commit any one of
the newly identified 16 deadly sins that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration outlines
in a new final rule.
[ Interesting...new final rule on existing regulations. Looks like a precursor to levying large fines ]
-ss-
Truckers, others in Antelope Valley, CA, to fight truck parking ban
Truckers in Antelope Valley, CA, are being fined as much as $1,000 and threatened with six
months in jail after being cited for parking their rigs on their own property in the unincorporated
area of Los Angeles County. Some truckers plan to meet in Littlerock, CA, at 7 p.m. on Friday,
Dec. 19, to discuss ways they can fight the county's truck parking ordinance issue.
Facing TWIC criticism, TSA temporarily allows alternate ID at ports
Truck drivers and other workers who have wrangled with aggressive enforcement at many ports
for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential may get extra time to fully comply - at
least for a few weeks.
Fuel prices drop 9.3 cents to average $2.422 nationwide
While fuel prices continue to drop across the country - down another 9.3 cents to average
$2.422 per gallon this past week - so has the demand for freight during these rocky economic
times. The Energy Information Administration is reporting on Monday, Dec. 15, that fuel prices
are down nearly 89 cents from this same week in 2007.
Illinois lawmakers meet for decisions on special election, impeachment
The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to meet in special session this week to decide
whether to support a special election to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat of President-elect
Barack Obama. Legislators also are expected to discuss impeaching Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Michigan House approves ban on texting while driving
A bill halfway through the Michigan statehouse is intended to limit driver distractions.
Claybrook will leave helm of Public Citizen
Joan Claybrook will resign after 27 years leading the national public interest organization,
Public Citizen. She will, however, remain on the board of directors.
SPECIAL REPORT: New reg tackles intermodal equipment safety issues
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008 - Picking through a pile of unusable intermodal chassis may very well
become a thing of the past because of a new regulation released by the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration. The "Requirements for Intermodal Equipment Providers and for Motor
Carriers and Drivers Operating Intermodal Equipment" final rule was received by the Office of
the Federal Register from FMCSA today.
Analyst predicts better days ahead
Despite all the layoffs and cutbacks in most sectors of the economy, at least one trucking
industry analyst predicts better days ahead.
Truck parking limited in Indiana with six rest areas closing
With Indiana facing an estimated budget shortfall of nearly $763 million in 2009, truckers
needing to take a break may be left out in the cold - literally - as the state announces the
permanent closure of six rest areas in January.
Illinois lawmakers begin impeachment process
A select group of lawmakers in the Illinois House began meeting Tuesday, Dec. 16, to decide
whether to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Lawmaker wants to add tolls to I-70 in Missouri
A Missouri state lawmaker renewed his effort to eliminate a couple of barriers prohibiting toll
roads and bridges in the state.
Exxon boosts ULSD production
Exxon Mobil Corp. officials plan to spend more than $1 billion over the next few years to
increase its global production of ultra-low-sulfur diesel by about 10 percent.
ON THE SCENE: Truckin' with gas, natural gas that is
LONG BEACH, CA - Dec. 8, 2008. Switching over to natural gas is a pretty big deal. This past
week in California, ceremonies at the Port of Long Beach marked the delivery of 132
natural-gas-fueled tractors that will eventually replace older, heavily polluting diesels at the
nation's busiest container port complex.
Ray LaHood rumored to be pick for DOT secretary
As President-elect Barack Obama continues to select agency leaders who will sit on his
Cabinet, many names have been tossed out as potential picks for secretary of the Department
of Transportation. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the DC rumor mill was running full steam with
information that Republican Rep. Ray LaHood from Illinois was likely to be named to the
position.
Trucker sentenced to 36 years for causing crash
A jury sentenced a 37-year-old trucker on Monday, Dec. 15, to 36 years in prison following a fiery
crash in 2005 that killed four people.
OOIDA battling full-on push for longer, heavier trucks
The once-dead issue of asking the feds to increasing truck size and weights is heating up in a
full-blown battle on Capitol Hill with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
battling the propaganda being pushed by a group of coalitions.
New CARB diesel rule: What trucks are good and for how long?
Land Line spoke with CARB staffers this week following the Dec. 12 approval of the on-road
rule. Staff members are still nailing down details of the board's wishes, but here's a basic
breakdown of what the new regulation means for one-truck operations.
Missouri legislature to tackle biodiesel standard, ethanol requirement
A leading lawmaker in Missouri is calling for a mandate of biodiesel use in the state. Missouri
already requires that gasoline sold in the state contain 10 percent ethanol. A separate measure
would drop the state's ethanol rule.
Arkansas bill would open roads to mini-trucks
With the recent high cost of fuel forcing drivers to find ways to save money, consumers are
looking for vehicles that are smaller and smaller. As a result, more truckers soon could be
sharing certain roads with the increasingly popular mini-truck.
Volvo cutting jobs, production
The world's second-largest truck maker is cutting back on production and jobs. Volvo
announced Tuesday, Dec. 16, that it's stopping heavy truck production in Europe for up to 25
days in the first quarter of 2009 because of the recession.
Ontario speed-limiter protest set for Friday
An OOIDA member is preparing to take a grassroots effort to the streets of Toronto to protest
the Ontario government's push to make speed limiters mandatory on all heavy trucks.
FedEx to cut salaries, freeze hiring
Even though it recently posted a profit for the quarter, FedEx plans to take some fairly drastic
steps to cut costs.
Vermont plans to close four rest areas, but keep truck parking open
Just days after the Indiana Department of Transportation announced plans to permanently
close six rest areas because of budget woes, the state of Vermont followed suit and plans to
close four rest areas there.
Texas panel's wish list for transportation dollars is a whopper
An appointed commission in Texas has determined that the state's transportation needs total a
staggering $313 billion. That's a large wish list considering the federal government spends
less than $60 billion per year on surface transportation.
Missouri bills include truck-related provisions
A leading lawmaker in the Missouri Senate has offered a bill for consideration during the
upcoming session that includes several provisions of interest to truck drivers. Among the
provisions are rules on violating out-of-service orders and prohibiting the issuance of
commercial driver's licenses for hauling hazmat to people who fail to pass background checks.
Indiana bill would toughen driving rules
In hopes of making the state's roadways safer, Indiana state lawmakers have filed legislation
for the 2009 regular session that would toughen teen driving restrictions.
Ontario protest on mandatory speed limiters could be snowy
In Ontario, the traffic situation could get interesting on eastbound Highway 401 near Toronto
Friday, Dec. 19. A group of truckers is forming a convoy to protest mandatory speed limiters,
and the forecast is calling for a major snowstorm overnight.
Truckers to meet Dec. 19 on parking in Antelope Valley, CA
Truckers in the Antelope Valley in California are banding together to oppose restrictive truck
parking requirements that may prevent them from parking their rigs on their own property.
FMCSA amends policy, allows GPS, other equipment for monitoring
The use of advanced information technologies to monitor compliance with Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) is now authorized after a policy change became effective
Dec. 19.
Texas bills pursue transportation money, tackle corridor plan
Confronted with a struggling transportation fund, lawmakers in Texas soon are expected to
wage battle on various methods to help generate $14 billion for roads and bridges throughout
the state. Another bill is intended to sideline the planned Trans-Texas Corridor.
Truck parking limited in Indiana with six rest areas closing
With Indiana facing an estimated budget shortfall of nearly $763 million in 2009, truckers
needing to take a break may be left out in the cold - literally - as the state announces the
permanent closure of six rest areas in January.
Vermont announces closing of four rest area, plans to keep truck parking open
OOIDA Life Member Darrell Hicks of Tulare, CA, spent his career in the trucking industry driving
from coast to coast. He said he opposes the closing of rest areas for "weary, tired" travelers
passing through those states.
Illinois governor refuses to step aside
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Friday, Dec. 19, that he is not guilty of any criminal
wrongdoing, and he will not step down as governor.
OOIDA urges postponement of speed limiter regs in Ontario
A snowstorm in Toronto may have forced the cancellation of a trucker convoy to protest a
government mandate for speed limiters, but the fax machine at Queen's Park still works. OOIDA
President and CEO Jim Johnston faxed in a letter Thursday afternoon, Dec. 18, urging Ontario
Transportation Minister James Bradley to "postpone indefinitely" the implementation of
speed-limiter regulations for heavy trucks, which is scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 2009.
OOIDA: LaHood an 'excellent pick' for DOT secretary
Known as a lawmaker with a history of reaching across party lines to get things done, retiring
Republican Rep. Ray LaHood from Illinois will soon take that diplomacy to the Department of
Transportation. President-elect Barack Obama announced on Friday, Dec. 19, that LaHood
would serve as Secretary of Transportation for his administration.
OOIDA will fight the push for longer, heavier trucks
The once-dead issue of asking the feds to increasing truck size and weights is heating up in a
full-blown battle on Capitol Hill with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
battling the propaganda being pushed by a group of coalitions.
Owner-ops question Ontario's ability to enforce speed limiters
In the eleventh hour before speed limiters are to become mandatory on all heavy trucks in
Ontario, owner-operator associations on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border are
questioning whether the Ministry of Transportation is equipped to handle enforcement.
California greenhouse gas rule: How will it affect your truck?
California's newly approved regulation requiring fuel efficiency for big diesel trucks requires
several costly add-ons.
Christmas Eve storms predicted for Midwest, West
CHICAGO — Many stranded, irate travelers tried to take advantage of a lull between
snowstorms to get home by jet, car or train before another wallop of winter’s wrath smacks the
West and Midwest on Christmas Eve.
Oil steady near $39 as investors eye bad US news
SINGAPORE — Oil prices were steady near $39 a barrel Wednesday in Asia as investors
digested more bad economic news from the U.S. in thin Christmas Eve trading.
Flying J files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; truck stops remain open
Flying J filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday, Dec. 22, but says all its truck stops will remain
open and that customers won't notice any difference.
National average drops another 5.6 cents to $2.366 for diesel
The price for diesel has dropped another 5.6 cents this past week to average $2.366 per gallon
nationwide. The Energy Information Administration is reporting on Monday, Dec. 22, that fuel
prices are down more than 94 cents from the same week in 2007.
OOIDA's Truckers for Troops Telethon results: drum roll, please
In such a challenged trucking economy, who thought the 2008 Truckers for Troops Telethon
would exceed the incredible efforts of 2007? But the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers
Association has announced the results for the Truckers for Troops Telethon 2008, and the
event netted nearly $10,000 more than 2007.
One week remains to cast important ballot for OOIDA Board alternates
There are only days left for qualified voting members of the Owner-Operator Independent
Drivers Association to cast their ballots in the biennial election of alternates for the Board of
Directors.
OOIDA members meet in Antelope Valley, CA, despite snowstorm
Despite weather conditions that blanketed the Antelope Valley in California with the most
snowfall ever recorded in the high desert, OOIDA members and other truckers turned out in full
force to discuss the restrictive truck parking issues they are facing there.
Wisconsin coalition, OOIDA call for diesel grant funds
The U.S. government has funded only $49 million of the $1 billion authorized for a national
diesel emissions reduction program, and environmental groups and trucking organizations
want to know why.
Trucking industry companies announce layoffs, cutbacks and operating losses
The Grinch sure is trying to steal Christmas.
Truck toll on Virginia roads outweighs fees paid
RICHMOND, Va. — A study concludes big trucks take a large bite out of Virginia's highway
maintenance budget.
Oil prices near $35 on more dour economic news
HOUSTON — Crude prices tumbled Wednesday following a string of economic reports that
painted an ugly picture of the nation's economy, suggesting that demand for energy will
continue to erode.
Truckers targeted in Dallas shootings
One truck driver was shot to death and another injured when a gunman opened fire on
motorists Monday on the LBJ Freeway in the Dallas area.
Wall Street Journal calls LaHood one of 'the biggest spenders in Congress'
NEW YORK — In an opinion article last week, The Wall Street Journal questioned the choice of
Rep. Ray LaHood, R.-Ill., to be the next transportation secretary, noting that in choosing
LaHood, President-elect Barack Obama got more “Beltway hosannas for bipartisanship,” but at
the same time managed to choose one of the “biggest spenders in Congress” of either party.
YRC extends pay cut decision deadline
NEW YORK — The deadline for a vote to lock in an immediate 10 percent pay cut and other
contract modifications for union workers at YRC Worldwide Inc., one of the nation’s largest
trucking companies, has been extended by a week, the company said Monday.
Diesel falls again, ends year at $2.327
WASHINGTON — The weekly on-highway diesel price today fell another 3.9 cents a gallon to
$2.327, a staggering drop of $1.018 per gallon from one year ago, according to the Energy
Information Administration of the Department of Energy.
Oil ends above $40 as Middle East fighting rages
HOUSTON — Crude prices rose above $40 a barrel Monday as Israel and Palestinian militants
exchanged rocket fire and the death toll mounted in the oil-rich region.
Regulation redux? Louisiana turns back the clock on 20-year-old fines
The state of Louisiana is collecting on old traffic violations, including many safety violations
stemming from commercial vehicle inspections in the Bayou State that date as far back as
1988.
South Carolina bill would overhaul ports authority
If a South Carolina state lawmaker gets his way, big changes would be under way at the State
Ports Authority.
Georgia law restricting red-light cameras takes effect Jan. 1
A new law in Georgia is intended to make it tougher for local governments to post red-light
cameras. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2009.
OOIDA swoops in on Ledar Transport, seizes assets from KC carrier
Damages of just less than $1 million were set by the U.S. District Court judge for return to
owner-operators leased to Ledar, but the Higgs trio managed to avoid payment of any of the
judgment against them. So, with sheriffs and an armada of tow trucks, OOIDA descended upon
the Ledar offices Dec. 2, 2008, to begin the process of attaching assets to satisfy the judgment..
Mandatory speed limiters start Jan. 1 in Ontario, Quebec
If you are a trucker and you do business in or through the Canadian provinces of Ontario and
Quebec, your truck will need to have a working speed limiter set at a maximum of 105
kilometers per hour, or 65 mph, starting Jan. 1.
School's out for Schneider drivers
While most schools in the nation are still on their winter break, the driving schools at Schneider
National are taking a permanent vacation.
Task force combats smuggling at California twin ports
The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach recently became the first U.S. ports to deploy a
multi-agency task force aimed to target smuggling at U.S. borders.
Shooting death of trucker moves the community
The trucking community, a fraternity of brothers and sisters who move the nation's freight, has
been touched by the story of driver William Scott Miller of Frankfort, KY. Miller was just a few
miles away from parking his United Van Lines trailer for the holidays on Monday, Dec. 22, when
the most unfortunate of circumstances - a seemingly random shooting on a Dallas highway -
claimed his life.
Fuel prices dip another 3.9 cents to average $2.327 nationwide
Now that fuel prices have dropped more than $1 per gallon from a year ago, plummeting freight
rates and rocky economic conditions are now the biggest concerns of truckers.
Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls increasing 25 percent on Sunday
Operators of Class 8 trucks traveling the full length of the Pennsylvania Turnpike will pay an
extra $35 in tolls starting on Sunday, Jan. 4.
Former NY DOT Director jailed for bribery on fed-funded project
The former New York City Department of Transportation's director was sentenced earlier this
month to a year behind bars for accepting an expensive bribe tied to a federally funded bridge
project.
'Get in and get out' mind-set limits parking options for OOIDA members
The lack of truck parking and escalating restrictions on where truckers can park are growing
problems across the country.
New Illinois law to raise most vehicle registrations for squad cars
A new law in Illinois is intended to help the Illinois State Police purchase new vehicles and
outfit all squad cars with video cameras.
California law banning 'texting' for all drivers in effect Jan. 1
Starting Jan. 1, adults in California will be prohibited from text messaging while driving. Teens
under 18 already are prohibited from using any type of cell phone, pager, text messaging device
or laptop while at the wheel.
Alabama police issue Overdue Motorist Report for OOIDA member
Authorities from the Opp, AL, Police Department have issued an Overdue Motorist Report for
OOIDA Member Darrell Wayne Barnes Jr., a truck driver and resident of Opp. Barnes was en
route to Stafford, MA, and last heard from on Tuesday, Dec. 30. At that time, he was reportedly in
Roanoke, VA.
Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls increasing 25 percent on Sunday
Operators of Class 8 trucks traveling the full length of the Pennsylvania Turnpike will pay an
extra $35 in tolls starting on Sunday, Jan. 4.
North Dakota waives HOS rules for fuel haulers
North Dakota Governor John Hoeven has issued a temporary waiver of hours-of-service
requirements for drivers who haul diesel fuel in that state. The waiver, which was issued on
Jan. 1, will be in effect until Jan. 14.
MI bill authorizing UCR advances to governor
Before wrapping up their work for the year, the Michigan Legislature approved a bill that is of
interest to truckers. The state's House voted unanimously to advance a bill to Gov. Jennifer
Granholm's desk that would authorize the state to implement and administer the Unified
Carrier Registration Act.
Indiana bill calls for Toll Road to pay fire departments
The Indiana Toll Road would be required to pay fire departments that respond to emergency
calls on the roadway, if two state lawmakers get their way.
'Speed limiter' satellite technology proposed in the U.K.
An advisory commission in the United Kingdom has proposed a speed-limiting system for cars
and trucks that will use satellite technology.
TSA completes background check for millionth trucker
The Transportation Security Administration announced it has completed more than 1 million
background checks on truck drivers that apply for hazmat endorsements on commercial driver's
licenses.