The American Driver
From Drivers...For Drivers
What's News - May 2009
FAMILIES PUSH TRUCK SAFETY
Families of victims killed in accidents with trucks are pressing Congress to stop the trucking
industry's efforts to allow heavier, longer vehicles on the roads.
Wabash National making 790 Indiana layoffs permanent
LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Wabash National Corp. has told nearly 800 workers who were laid off over
the winter that it does not expect to recall them.
Trucking industry faces longer layovers
Business is stalled for long-haul drivers, and with no turnaround in sight, many just sit
On the Waterfront: Labor, environmentalists fighting trucking deregulation
Labor leaders and environmentalists are reportedly gearing up for a renewed lobbying effort in
Washington to end or amend the nation's 29-year experiment with trucking deregulation.
Auto crisis wallops trucking firms
Trucking company bankruptcies have increased to record levels and freight shipments are
continuing to fall as auto assembly and parts plants shut down across Ontario, say industry
representatives.
Florida Proposal Would Double Registration Fee
The Florida Trucking Association reports that legislation in that state would double state
registration fees on heavy vehicles, making Florida truck fees some of the highest in the country.
If You're Squeamish on the LTL Sector, Don't Read This.
The current economic downturn has been brutal on all the trucking industry, but especially the
LTL sector. A $34.5 billion sector that has been flat for more than 10 years, it is being punished
even further by trends toward consolidation by third-party logistics operators and truckload
carriers seeking to expand their bases. Is this, indeed, the beginning of the end for LTL?
Minnesota fatigue checklist complaint?
OOIDA has received numerous complaints from drivers being placed out-of-service in
Minnesota for fatigue even though they were fully rested and in compliance with the
hours-of-service regulations. Commercial vehicle enforcement officers have been sidelining
drivers for 10 consecutive hours after an interrogation based largely upon a fatigue checklist
developed by the Minnesota State Patrol.
Supplier Industry Executives Bring Messages to Washington
"Card check" legislation and a newly re-introduced bill offering tax incentives for safety
technology were two key issues for heavy-duty suppliers attending the Motor Equipment
Manufacturers Association annual Legislative Summit last week.
Agriculture exemption under attack in Washington
POTOMAC, Md. — The Agricultural Education Group (AEG) has been formed with the mission of
protecting and preserving the agricultural exemption to the federal Hours of Service rules for
truck drivers as codified in federal law in 2005, according to David Schroyer, president of
Schroyer, Inc., in Celina, Ohio.
Trucking Company Sees Growth in a Stalled Economy
Mountain Valley Express, a less-than-truckload carrier based in Manteca, Calif., announced it is
adding a new facility to its 8-terminal network with a 36-door terminal in Phoenix.
Construction spending rises unexpectedly in March
WASHINGTON — Construction spending rose unexpectedly in March after five straight
declines, as strength in nonresidential projects and government building offset a further slide
in housing.
Federal vehicle mileage tax: still speculation for now
U.S. Rep. James Oberstar, D-MN, chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and
Infrastructure Committee has called for a closed-door review of whether a tax on vehicle miles
traveled, or VMT, would or should be considered in the next surface transportation authorization
bill that is expected to emerge from the committee within weeks.
Minnesota Moves to 5 Percent Biodiesel
Minnesota is the first state to require that diesel fuel contain a 5 percent blend of biodiesel.
 
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New I-44 Welcome Center Offers 150 Truck Parking Spaces
The new Route 66-themed I-44 Conway Welcome Center at Mile Marker 111 west of Conway,
Mo., is scheduled to open Monday, May 4, at 11 a.m. central time with a grand opening
ceremony.
Safety can’t suffer with 65 mph speed limit
Ohio is about to increase the speed limit for large trucks on interstate highways. Safety needs
to remain a top priority for all travelers, through compliance and enforcement.
Statehouse roundup: Trucking tax break, NASCAR incentives advance
The Colorado Senate unanimously approved a legislative proposal giving long-sought tax
breaks to the trucking industry Friday, moving the measure a crucial step closer to Gov. Bill
Ritter’s desk.
Obama Administration Announces Biofuels Initiatives
President Obama Tuesday announced steps to increase the use of biofuels -- but traditional
soy-based diesel would be limited in an EPA proposal.
I-77 Shooting Suspect in Custody; Second Suspect Still at Large
One of two men being sought by the Virginia State Police for shooting at several tractor-trailers
on Interstate 77 in April is now in custody.
Massachusetts turnpike director resigns following wide criticism
BOSTON — Massachusetts Turnpike Director Alan LeBovidge resigned on Wednesday, a
month after he was widely criticized for a pair of cost-cutting moves he nonetheless felt were
necessary for the financially ailing authority.
Federal stimulus boon to politicans
BOSTON — The federal stimulus package isn't just a boon to many of the country's citizens and
industries. It's also a gift for politicians.
Vigillo forms alliance with Sleep HealthCenters
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vigillo LLC, provider of a web-based risk management platform for the
delivery of policies, forms, training, assessments, and management reports to the trucking
industry, today announced at the National Private Truck Council Education Management
Conference it has formed an alliance with Brighton, Massachusetts-based Sleep
HealthCenters (SHC).
Preliminary data shows Class 8 orders in April down 9 percent from March
NASHVILLE, Ind. —  FTR Associates has released preliminary data showing Class 8 total net
orders for all major North American OEM’s totaling 7,935 units in April, down 9 percent from
March 2009.
AFTC Promotes Safe Trucking During Agriculture's Busy Seasons
ARLINGTON, Va., May 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Trucking Associations'
Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference (AFTC) recently released the Manager's Guide
to Safe Trucking During Agricultural Planting and Harvest Season. Available free for download
at AFTC's
webpage, this guide provides educational resources for truck drivers and their
managers in the agricultural industry, encouraging active strategies to improve safety during
peak times of production.
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'Jason's Law' Introduced in Senate
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer has introduced companion legislation in the Senate to a bill in
the House that would implement a pilot program to address shortages in safe parking for
commercial motor vehicles on the National Highway System.
DHS' Trucking Security program would get ax under 2010 budget proposal
WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security’s Trucking Security Program would be
eliminated under President Barack Obama’s FY 2010 budget proposal made public today.
DHS Awards Grant for 2009 Trucking Security Program
Total Security Services International, Silver Springs, Md., has been selected for a grant for the
Transportation Security Administration's 2009 Trucking Security Program Planning Funding
Priority.
Admin Note:
[I found it ironic to find these two preceeding news articles published on the same day. But
what I found most interesting is in the second news article...ATA was the administrator of
the Highway Watch program (see the reason why this program is being cut in 2010.)  If it
wasn't obvious before - it should be now...ATA is a destructive force regarding truckers.
(~SS~)]
Speed-camera vans back in Arizona
In Arizona, vans equipped with speed cameras are back on the highways for the first time since
a civilian camera operator was shot and killed last month.
Highway investment, cooperation with rails highlight ATA presentation to shipper
forum
FRISCO, Texas — The upcoming highway bill — and whether it will be fair to trucking and
freight transportation — is at the top of Bill Graves’ list of things that keep him awake at night, or
so the American Trucking Associations president and CEO told a meeting of shippers, carriers,
and logistics professionals here.
OMB posts proposed DOT budget raises for 2010; some get more than others
WASHINGTON — The federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has posted proposed
budgets for next year, with the Department of Transportation getting a raise of $1.8 billion, from
a projected $73.3 billion on tap for next year compared with the enacted 2009 budget of $71.5
billion.
High-tech safety bill mindful of owner-operators
Truckers opting to buy advanced stability systems and other technology for new and used
trucks could see tax incentives.
April truck sales dip again
NASHVILLE, Ind. -- Preliminary data released by FTR Associates shows Class 8 total net
orders for all major North American OEMs are down 9 percent in April 2009 from the month
before, totaling 7,935 units.
Threat to Ag Trucking
Most commercial truckers are limited to 11 hours of driving time, followed by 10 hours off duty.
Agriculture is exempted when driving within 100 miles, allowing shuttling of both inputs and
production, under a 2005 law known as SAFETEA-LU.
Truck driver responds to public outcry over detour
I’m writing in response to the “Hit the road, Jake” article. It never fails to surprise me how
selfish some of our county residents are, and how ignorant most people are about the
importance of the trucking industry.
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Inspection on I-40 bridge between W. Memphis and Memphis requires closures
LITTLE ROCK — Crews performing a routine inspection on the Interstate 40 bridge over the
Mississippi River between West Memphis and Memphis will require lane closures Monday,
May 11th through Friday, May 15th, according to Arkansas State Highway and Transportation
Department (AHTD) officials.
Feds examining cross-border trucking
The Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee is having two public sessions to discuss
guidance for implementing a new cross-border trucking program between the United States
and Mexico.
April Costs Truckers 16,000 More Jobs
The U.S. trucking industry shed more than 16,000 jobs in April, the Labor Department said, as
part of a 38,000 job loss in the transportation and warehousing sector.
L.A. Harbor Commission OK’s up to $44.2 million for clean trucks
SAN PEDRO, Calif.— The Los Angeles Harbor Commission has approved up to $44.2 million
in port funding toward the 2009 Clean Truck Incentive Program at the Port of Los Angeles,
according to a news release from the port.
Retail import volume at lowest level in 5 years
WASHINGTON— Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports improved in
March over February’s seven-year low, but was still at its lowest level in five years and remained
below the 1 million mark, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released today by the
National Retail Federation and IHS Global Insight.
States pursue incentive to reduce truck idling
Multiple states have taken up the task this year of offering an incentive to reduce truck idling. So
far, lawmakers in Maine and Virginia have signed into law rules that increase the maximum
gross vehicle, axle weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle-reduction technology.
Elsewhere, two states failed to adopt the rule while another bill remains active.
Cummins to Temporarily Close MidRange Plant
Cummins is temporarily closing the Columbus MidRange Engine Plant in Walesboro, Ind., just
outside Columbus, as a result of Chrysler's decision last week to idle its manufacturing
operations while it undergoes bankruptcy reorganization.
Agriculture Hours of Service Exemption Under Attack in Washington
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety this week
sent a letter to leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee urging them
to repeal the driver hours-of-service exemptions for agriculture and utility drivers.
Report: North American Road Investment Will Likely Fall Short of Demand
Some small growth in North American road spending is predicted in a new report, but likely not
enough to meet demand over the next five years.
April Truck Orders Down From March
FTR Associates has released preliminary data showing Class 8 total net orders for all major
North American OEM's totaling 7,935 units in April, down 9 percent from March.
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Analysts: Trucking recovery in 2010
Despite signs the economy may be approaching bottom and indications of a slightly more
optimistic attitude in the trucking market, it is not clear sailing yet. Those were the conclusions
of the Commercial Vehicle Truck and Trailer Outlook and Update online seminar hosted by FTR
Associates May 7.
LaHood takes exception to AP article on road stimulus job locations
WASHINGTON — Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood this afternoon took exception to an
Associated Press article that reported that counties suffering the most from job losses stand to
receive the least help from President Barack Obama's plan to spend billions of stimulus
dollars on roads and bridges.
DOT would be restructured under Oberstar highway bill plan, report says
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Department of Transportation would undergo major program
restructuring under the next surface transportation authorization, according to a handwritten
outline of the bill being circulated by House Transportation Chairman James Oberstar (D-
Minn.) and obtained by BNA's Daily Report for Executives.
Transportation coalition releases plan to restructure U.S. transportation program
WASHINGTON — Transportation for America today released a detailed plan to restructure the
nation’s transportation program in order to build what the organization called a smart, safe and
clean transportation system that provides real choices to all Americans.
California Leads Nation in Poor Roads
California's major urban roadways are the roughest in the nation, while overall, driving on rough
roads costs the average American motorist approximately $400 a year in extra vehicle operating
costs.
Transportation Week is at hand
National Transportation Week is under way. This celebration of the transportation industry has
taken place each May since it became a permanent event in 1962. An annual observance
taking note of this vital industry's importance to the nation dates back to the 1950s.
JDA Software Highlights Supply Chain Opportunities For Fleet Owners
According to the National Private Truck Council (NPTC), private fleets account for more than half
of the entire trucking industry; ranging in size from over 50,000 vehicles to just a few vehicles.
The number of private fleets in operation continues to grow as companies realize the
advantage of "being its own highest-priority customer" and strive for consistent quality and
operational excellence in serving customers.
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TDOT: I-40 will re-open June 12 ahead of schedule
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — I-40 in Downtown Knoxville will re-open to traffic on June 12.  Tennessee
Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely credited a "great team working on a
model project," at a press conference today announcing the I-40 re-opening date for the
SmartFIX40 project.
CEA Holds Energy Day on Capitol Hill
Trucks deliver nearly all of our nation's consumer goods and diesel fuel is one of the industry's
largest expenses. Although diesel is currently selling for significantly less than last summer's
record prices, that is primarily due to the global recession. Diesel prices will rise again as the
economy recovers, again placing a strain on the trucking industry. When diesel prices increase
again, so will prices of everything trucks deliver, affecting American consumers.
Time Is Right to Re-Think Truck Productivity, Volvo Trucks Says
Increasing road congestion, inadequate infrastructure and the continued need to reduce the
environmental impact of trucks means the trucking industry, policymakers and the general
public must be open to new ways of increasing highway freight transport productivity, according
to Volvo Trucks North America. This includes use of longer, heavier and more productive trucks
as part of the national transportation mix.
[ If truckers do not speak out about the heavier, longer CMV's issue with their Senators and
Representative...this will become a reality on our interstates across the country. (~SS~) ]
Connecticut considers tolling, congestion pricing
Connecticut officials are considering the implementation of tolls and congestion pricing to pay
for transportation projects and control congestion. The state's Transportation Strategy Board
commissioned a $1 million study to determine how electronic tolling and congestion pricing
could be used throughout the state.
Illinois bills advance that would boost idling fines, end truck fee
Two bills on the move at the Illinois statehouse are likely to elicit different responses from
truckers. One bill would boost fines for idling violations while the second measure would
repeal collection of the commercial distribution fee.
Social Security and Medicare finances worsen
WASHINGTON — The financial health of Social Security and Medicare, the government's two
biggest benefit programs, have worsened because of the severe recession, and Medicare is
now paying out more than it receives.
Wisconsin auditors say highway contractors skipped steps
MILWAUKEE — Contractors who poured concrete for Wisconsin highways often failed to
measure the thickness of the pavement, making it impossible to confirm whether enough
concrete was used, state auditors said Tuesday.
Rough roads cost average motorist $335 per year
Rough roads push up the cost of operating a vehicle by an average of $335 per year according
to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. AASHTO pulled
together state and federal data about rough roads and determined costs associated with them.
The report urges Congress and states to fix problems now or face consequences later of even
more costs.
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Bridge reopening ends big detour for trucks
The contractor on an I-40 bridge project in Tennessee made short work of replacing four large
bearings, and the route is now open to traffic again.
Cross-border trucking meeting May 20
The Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee will now have just one session to discuss
implementing guidance for a new trucking program between the United States and Mexico.
Toll payers sue Mass Pike over 'illegal' diversion of revenue
Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority say they're sick of 58 cents
of every toll dollar being used for the Big Dig. In short, they want their money back from years of
diverted revenue. More than 1,000 plaintiffs have signed on to the class-action lawsuit since
attorney Jan R. Schlichtmann filed it Friday, May 8, in Middlesex Superior Court.
Pilot offers 85 truck parking spots at new travel center in Tyler, TX
A new Pilot Travel Center, complete with 85 truck parking spaces, opened in Tyler, TX, on
Monday, May 11.
Sector Snap: Truckers slide on weak retail sales
The trucking sector steered lower Wednesday with the broader market as the government
revealed that retail sales - a key driver for the trucking industry - were weaker than expected last
month.
DOT’s March freight measure sets records ­— for declines
WASHINGTON — The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) fell 3.3 percent in March from
its February level, falling to its lowest level in more than six years, the U.S. Department of
Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported Wednesday.
Carrier safety program reviewed
A congressional watchdog agency has said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
should measure a voluntary safety program’s effectiveness after enough states have the power
to keep out-of-service carriers off the road.
Texas House advances transportation overhaul bill
The Texas Transportation Commission may pay the price for turning a deaf ear to public
sentiment. The Texas House approved a bill Monday, May 11, that is designed to radically
realign the Texas Department of Transportation. That bill - HB300 - now moves to the Senate.
Class 8 truck sales slide continues; down 44% in April
Any economic sunshine this spring has yet to warm the heavy duty truck manufacturers, as
sales remained at record low levels through April.
White House memo challenges EPA finding on warming
WASHINGTON — An Environmental Protection Agency proposal that could lead to regulating
the gases blamed for global warming will prove costly for factories, small businesses and
other institutions, according to a White House document.
Diesel Fuel Up $2.221, But Now Lower Than Gasoline
The average U.S. pump price for on-highway diesel climbed 3.1 cents to $2.216 per gallon in
the past week, according to the federal Department of Energy's weekly fuel price report. But
diesel fuel is still 48.8% lower than at this time a year ago, when it cost $4.331 a gallon, and is
lower than gasoline for the first time since July 2007.
Detroit Diesel Offers Cleaned, Recycled Diesel Particulate Filters
Detroit Diesel customers with EPA '07 equipment approaching the required change intervals
for diesel particulate filters can find cleaned and recycled DPFs at authorized service outlets,
the builder said. Customers can exchange their spent DPFs for the renewed units and quickly
return their trucks to service.
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Consumers told as trucking goes, so goes the economy
Trucks carry almost all the manufactured and retail goods in the country — from refrigerators to
lumber, detergents to toys. Many economists gauge how fast assembly lines are running, and
how much consumers are buying, by the volume of goods hauled by trucks. But the most recent
earnings reports show trucks are not carrying enough yet to indicate recovery is near.
NPTC, UMTRI release truck size and weight study
ARLINGTON, Va. — Increases in truck weight and length would have a direct beneficial effect
on the challenges facing American businesses, according to a study conducted by the
University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute that was commissioned by the
National Private Truck Council.
[ Two points which need to be highlighted. (1) There will be a 16% reduction in the number of truck jobs, &
(2) There's absolutely no mention of the effects upon our infrastructure regarding this increase in weight.  
We are all aware of the deteriorated state of our highways, and this report does not address the costs to
not only effect repairs to bring our highways back into a condition to handle 80K lbs...but the costs which
will be necessary to handle 97K lbs. (~SS~) ]
Study: Truckers can’t afford housing
An in-depth study indicates home prices remain unaffordable to occupations that could be
boosted from the stimulus package, including long-haul truckers.
Toll revenue, traffic decline for Abertis
The Spanish company that attempted to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike a year ago has
reported a decline in traffic and toll revenue within its worldwide network. Abertis, which
partnered with U.S.-based Citibank in 2008 to pledge $12.8 billion in an unsuccessful bid for
the Pennsylvania pike, reported a 5.7 percent decline in toll traffic from April 2008 to April 2009.
Missouri lawmakers OK truck-related provisions, speed trap restrictions
A bill sent to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon Tuesday, May 12, includes several trucking provisions. It
would also further rein in speed traps.
Small Parts Suppliers In Serious Danger, Congress Hears
The credit crisis and its devestating effects on the nation's vehicle builders has also injured
thousands of small parts suppliers, and many could fail, one of their executives told Congress
yesterday. Wes Smith, president of E&E Manufacturing, testified before the House Small
Business Committee at a hearing examining the economic impact of the domestic auto crisis
on small suppliers throughout the United States.
New emissions standards concern fresh produce carriers
Those responsible for the transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables across the U.S. are
worried — to say the least — about emissions standards in California set to go into effect later
this year.
Biodiesel Supplier Opens Hub At Port Of Milwaukee
Innovation Fuels, a New York-based renewable energy company, has begun selling biodiesel
to customers from its Midwestern fuels hub at the Port of Milwaukee, Wis., on Lake Michigan.
The 312,000-barrel-capacity terminal is the first in the country that is totally dedicated for the
sale and distribution of renewable fuels, the company said.
Nation's First Bulk DEF Dispenser Opens at Ann Arbor TravelCenter
What TravelCenters of America believes is the first operating retail bulk dispenser of diesel
exhaust fluid (DEF) in the U.S. unveiled this morning at TA's location in Ann Arbor, Mich. The
275-gallon dispenser from Colonial Chemical has a weights and measures-certified meter,
which TA thinks is also a first.
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Truckers Coming Together For Trucking Rights
The trucking industry has several organizations that represent our nations’ truck drivers.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for an organization to use the main theme, content, or source
from another’s news story or blog post and not link back to, or at least mention the original post
or author’s work and research.
When's a trucker too tired to drive?
A lawsuit filed on behalf of two out-of-state truckers against the Minnesota State Patrol points
out the tricky business of regulating drowsiness on the road.
Caterpillar to halve hours for 985 in Lafayette
LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Caterpillar Inc. said it will cut hours at least in half for nearly 1,000 workers
at its Lafayette engine plant in its second work reduction announced this month and third in two
months.
Postal Service slashes 25,000 jobs this year
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service has slashed 25,000 jobs this year as it struggles to
reduce a massive budget deficit.
Putting U.S. Trucking on a Diet
SAN FRANCISCO — The backbone of U.S. commerce, given America’s vast distances and
reliance upon highway transportation, is the combined fleet of 500,000 U.S. long-haul trucks.
And to many Americans, the macho trucking life holds a certain romance. It has, to be sure, its
drawbacks, not least the pollution from all those rumbling diesels. But new technologies are
emerging that should at least mitigate some of that.
[ Truckers...you're going to love this one, and it's infinite wisdom.  Anyone got some extra money?
Also - It's over 500,000 motor carriers...not combined fleet U.S. long-haul trucks. (~SS~) ]
Illinois to get uniform speed limits
The Illinois State Senate voted 40-8 this morning to allow uniform speed limits on Illinois’
interstates, according to the Mid-West Truckers Assoc.
After 54 years, Michigan truck stop closes shop
DIMONDALE, Mich. - Over its 54 years in business, Don's Windmill Truck Stop has seen a lot of
changes.
Reefer madness: CARB says it won't delay July TRU enforcement
California's environmental agency says trucks with reefers should prepare for July 17
enforcement date for reefer units. "Nothing has changed," CARB Spokeswoman Karen Caesar
told Land Line. "We will be enforcing the TRU ATCM beginning July 17, 2009."
'Some headway' made in fight to expand truck parking in Sumner, WA
A small fuel station in Sumner, WA, has been fighting city hall, trying to expand its business to
accommodate more parking and other services for truckers.
YRC seeks $1 billion from federal bailout fund
Less-than-truckload giant YRC Worldwide plans to seek a $1 billion bailout from the Troubled
Asset Relief Program, or TARP.
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Final decision on VA rest area closures, two-hour limit expected May 20
For months now, truckers have been anxiously awaiting the Commonwealth Transportation
Board’s final decision on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s proposal to shutter 25 of
41 rest areas in the state.
OOIDA member hassled over swine flu hysteria
Think celebrities wearing face masks illustrate the fever pitch of swine flu these days? Try a
smelting plant requiring truckers to take their temperature before unloading trailers full of used
aluminum cans.
[ Now this is "Standing Up and Speaking Out ]
[ We're behind ya Paul 100%. (TheAmericanDriver) ]
Flying J’s California refinery on the block
OGDEN, Utah — Flying J Inc. and its subsidiary Big West Oil LLC said Monday that they are
“reviewing strategic alternatives” regarding their Bakersfield Refinery, located in Bakersfield,
Calif.
Truckers Deflated by Clean Air Program
SHIPPING: Cost of clean trucks hits as work at ports dries up.
Nevada bills target truckers to foot bill for roadwork
Nevada lawmakers are pursuing legislation that would allow them another opportunity to put
their palms out to truck drivers.
GE Global Research Center to fuel energy independence
NISKAYUNA, N.Y. — GE Global Research, the technology development arm for the General
Electric Company, announced today that it has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy
as one of 46 new multi-million-dollar Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) being
established across the country.
Transportation grants available
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Friday, May 15, announced the availability of $1.5
billion in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary
Grants for capital investment in surface transportation projects.
Widening of Interstate 64 in Kentucky to reduce speed limit
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Crews plan to begin work this week on widening Interstate 64 just west of
the Shelby-Jefferson county line.
Frost & Sullivan Urges Logistics Industry to Consider Physical Security Solutions to
Reduce Loss and Improve Profitability
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- In today's economy, the trucking and shipping
industry faces unique and specific issues in regard to critical areas such as assets, equipment
and personnel. In this industry, employers must protect expensive inventory and equipment
from misuse, theft and environmental dangers as well as maintain employee well-being. In
order to reduce these risks, employers must ensure the use of technology to protect their
assets and employees.
Right to Repair Bill Gets a Boost in Support
The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act garnered further support in Congress this week
with the addition of Reps. Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Corrine Brown (D-FL) and William Lacy Clay
(D-MO) as co-sponsors.
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Lawmakers flood House with pet highway projects
WASHINGTON — There are lots of bridges to cross and roads to travel for lawmakers bent on
ending the time-honored practice of funneling money to their home states: at least 6,800 of
them.
Convoy To Re-enact 1919 Military Trek Across U.S.
Truck enthusiasts this summer will re-enact a historic 1919 U.S. Army cross-country convoy
that eventually led to establishment of the modern Interstate Highway system.
ABF Freight System competitor seeks federal bailout funds
A request for federal bailout funds from a national trucking company is unlikely to obtain a
favorable response, but it does indicate the potential impact of the precedent set by federal
bailouts of the financial and auto sectors.
Federal agency sued over ports’ clean trucks plan
LOS ANGELES — An environmental organization has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the
Federal Maritime Commission to get information about the agency’s opposition to the Los
Angeles and Long Beach ports’ new clean trucks program.
Port of Long Beach begins new round of funding for truck owners
The Port of Long Beach has begun a new round of funding for subsidized leases and loans in
its $42.5 million Clean Truck Financing Program to help truck owners meet the program’s
requirements.
Feds: Former Wyoming trooper planned trucker’s murder
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Federal authorities say a former Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper pulled
over a Wal-Mart truck in January and took the driver into custody as part of an aborted plan to kill
him and crash the truck into his patrol car to collect damages from the company.
Oregon Weighs 26,000 Trucks At Enforcement Event
The Oregon Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Division weighed more than 26,000
commercial trucks during an intensive size and weight enforcement effort along the Interstate
84 corridor last week. Weigh stations along Interstate 84, U.S. 730, U.S. 26 and U.S. 20 were
open continuously for 57 hours from May 13-15.
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VDOT seeks to retain two rest areas, but discontinue overnight truck parking
Truckers that drive in Virginia who were concerned about the possible closure of rest areas in
the state and having a more difficult time finding a place to park got somewhat better news May
20 than what had initially been proposed by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB).
Watchdog: Transportation stimulus money at risk
WASHINGTON — The Transportation Department is at risk of awarding economic stimulus aid
to contractors who have defrauded the government, a government watchdog warned
Wednesday.
Group calls for new vision for federal transportation program
WASHINGTON — As Congress prepares to revise the federal transportation program
(SAFETEA-LU), Building America's Future — a national, bipartisan infrastructure coalition led by
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and California Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger — released a memo today calling on Congress and the Obama
Administration to make transformative changes and chart a new transportation vision for the
21st Century.
Volvo calls for transportation innovation
Increasing road congestion, inadequate infrastructure, and the continued need to reduce the
environmental impact of trucks means the trucking industry, policymakers, and the general
public must be open to new ways of increasing highway freight transport productivity, according
to Volvo Trucks North America.
Don’t let drug, alcohol abusers drive big rigs, senators say
WASHINGTON D.C. – Senators Mark Pryor, Olympia Snowe, Ben Nelson, and Roger Wicker
have introduced legislation that would “close a well-known loophole in the commercial driving
industry” that currently enables drug and alcohol abusers to get behind the wheel of a large
truck or bus, the senators said in a statement Wednesday.
Meeting to study highways gets flak
The president of the Arkansas Trucking Association has a message for a panel of highway
lawmakers that kicks off talks today ways to finance the state's highway system during the 2011
legislative session.
OOIDA member sues New Mexico troopers for racial profiling
Looking around the port of entry office, Curtis Blackwell noticed something common among the
drivers waiting to talk to officers at the Port of Entry in Lordsburg, NM. Like him, most of the other
drivers were black.
Texas House to vote on local option fuel tax bill
A bill expected to receive consideration on the floor of the Texas House Thursday, May 21,
would allow counties to decide whether to increase the fuel tax by a dime per gallon.
Indiana bill to authorize red-light cameras stalls
A House panel applied the brakes to legislation that sought to allow towns in the state to place
cameras at intersections to catch red-light scofflaws. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers
Association has questioned the motives behind efforts to use the enforcement tool.
Oh, snap! Bidders leave Alligator Alley lease on the table
A Florida toll road that had been on the auction block for a year did not receive any formal bids,
the Florida Department of Transportation announced on Monday, May 18. Alligator Alley, a
78-mile portion of Interstate 75 running in Southern Florida, remains under state control as a
result of the inaction.
ATA's Safety Management Council Publishes Practical Cargo Securement(TM)
Guidebook
ARLINGTON, Va., May 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Trucking Associations' (ATA)
Safety Management Council today released Practical Cargo Securement(TM), a 405-page
resource for drivers, carriers, shippers and law enforcement on how to properly secure cargo
for transport. The book is part of the ATA Business Solutions line of products, events, and
services.
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Advisory committee submits principles for cross border program
WASHINGTON — The Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee has submitted to Rose
McMurray, acting deputy administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a list
of principles it suggests be used in developing a program to replace the Cross Border
Demonstration Project.
New road, new concerns
Representatives from Caltrans and the U.S. Forestry Service took part Wednesday in the
ribbon-cutting ceremony held at Vincent Gap Vista Point in the Angeles National Forest as
Caltrans reopened to the public a portion of Angeles Crest Highway after completing $10.5
million in repairs.
[ Truckers...Cali is pursuing legislation regarding license plate readers. (~SS~) ]
Truckers want what's due: Strapped firm owes paychecks, they say
EL PASO -- An El Paso trucking company's financial problems have more than 30 of its contract
drivers up in arms over thousands of dollars worth of payments they said are overdue.
Senators Introduce Drug Testing Bill for Truck Drivers, ATA Rallies Behind it
New legislation introduced in the Senate will help close loopholes that allow drug and alcohol
users to slip by trucking companies' driver hiring checks. The bill is sponsored by Senators
Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Roger Wicker
(R-Miss.)
Freight Stakeholders Push for Federal Action on Freight
A coalition of shipper and transportation groups has issued a "Surface Transportation
Reauthorization Platform" calling for increased federal involvement in freight issues, including
the need for increased infrastructure investment and freight connectivity.
N.H. governor says he'll veto any gas tax hike legislation
CONCORD, N.H.  — New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch said Friday he will veto the state budget
if it contains a gas tax increase.
Local Truckers Look For Stimulus Help
Reports that a big chunk of the federal stimulus package is ticketed for construction projects
should be good news for the trucking industry.
Troubled Winona bridge still in need of repairs, officials say
WINONA, Minn.  —  A Mississippi River bridge between southeastern Minnesota and southwest
Wisconsin that authorities closed for repairs last summer needs more work.
Illinois Legislature Passes Truck Weight Bill
On Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's desk is a bill that would provide uniform access on most Illinois
roads to 80,000-pound trucks. The measure is part of a $29 billion capital projects bill.
Welcome to the holiday: gas, oil both on the increase
NEW YORK  — Retail gasoline prices continued to climb Friday ahead of the Memorial Day
weekend and the unofficial start of America's summer driving season.
State's unemployment rate holds steady in April
Recession » But state has 38,000 fewer jobs than a year ago.
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Sen. Hutchison offers bill to prohibit tolling on existing federal highways
WASHINGTON, D.C — In response to renewed calls for tolling on Texas roads, U.S. Senator
Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, ranking Republican on the Senate Commerce, Science, and
Transportation Committee, has introduced a bill that would prohibit adding tolls to existing
federal highways.
Truck stop businesses hurt by recession, too
STURTEVANT, Wis. — Truck stop workers say the recession has hurt the trucking industry and
that's hurting them.
ATA Truck Tonnage index fell another 2.2 % in April
ARLINGTON, VA — The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA)
For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 2.2 percent in April, after plunging 4.5 percent in March.
SAFE Truckers Act advances
The full House Committee on Homeland Security last week unanimously approved an
amendment to the Transportation Security Administration Authorization Act (H.R. 2200), which
includes the SAFE Truckers Act.
Dealers Oppose Fuel Economy Measure
Last week the House Committee on Energy and Commerce adopted an amendment to the
"Global Warming Bill" (H.R. 2454) that would move authority to regulate fuel economy for
heavy-duty trucks away from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and give it to the
Environmental Protection Agency.
Trucking Sees Little or No Change in Insurance Premiums
Insurance premium rates either decreased slightly or flattened out during the first quarter of
2009 for the trucking, intermodal, bulk transportation services and owner-operator segments,
according to the Transportation Insurance Pricing Survey conducted by NIP Group.
House gives unions a boost at FedEx
The U.S. House of Representatives voted on May 21 to close what the House Transportation
and Infrastructure Committee considers a loophole that forced FedEx drivers wanting to
unionize to win a nationwide election.
Hybrid trucks no longer concept vehicles
WASHINGTON D.C. If there's one thing hybrid vehicle component manufacturers are trying to
convey to the trucking market today, it's that hybrids should no longer be considered "concept
vehicles" or "experimental."
Mack to Sponsor Refuse Driver Skill Challenge
Mack Trucks will host its Driving Skills Safety Challenge at the WasteExpo 2009 show in Las
Vegas June 9 and 10, where participants will be awarded $15,000 in prizes. Contestants will
attempt to drive a course simulating refuse-industry conditions while being judged on accuracy
and safety.
New Jersey bill seeks help of truckers in reporting suspicious activity
"Using the eyes and ears of truckers is critical. Truckers are skilled communicators when it
comes to watchdogging our nation's infrastructure," said Doug Morris, Director of Security
Operations for OOIDA. "That's why we are supporting this bill and asking our New Jersey
truckers to call their lawmakers and urge them to vote yes to A3084."
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Dueling Kansas projects both use stimulus money
COLUMBUS, Kan.  — Federal stimulus dollars may pay to rebuild a short stretch of a southeast
Kansas highway twice this year.
New Truck Registrations Drop 40 Percent, Report Says
New commercial truck registrations (Class 3-8) were down 40 percent for the first quarter of
2009 compared to the same period in 2008, according to the Polk Commercial Vehicle Market
Intelligence Report. This is the lowest registration quarter since 1991, and for Class 8 models,
March has been the worst month since Polk started keeping these records in 1985. These
declines come on the heels of an overwhelming drop in demand.
Saudi Arabia says no to cut in oil production
VIENNA  — Oil powerhouse Saudi Arabia spoke out Wednesday against reducing OPEC's
output in the latest indication that the 12-nation cartel will keep production at present levels. But
instead of falling on the news, crude prices climbed to six-month highs.
Missouri chooses contractor for 554 bridge projects
By October 2014, the Missouri Department of Transportation hopes to have 802 new bridges up
and running, including 554 bridges to be built by one group. MoDOT selected a $487 million bid
from KTU Constructors this past week for the 554 replacement bridges. The bid was $30
million lower than the next bidder.
Jim Palmer Trucking pulls out of Chapter 11
A bankruptcy court recently approved Missoula MT-based Jim Palmer Trucking’s plan to pay
back creditors, permitting the truckload carrier to emerge from Chapter 11.
Louisiana House OKs bill to limit left-lane use
The Louisiana House approved a bill that would allow law enforcement officers to ticket drivers
who hold up traffic by lingering in the left lane. If signed into law, the Pelican State would be at
least the third state this year to make changes to its lane use rule.
The Future of Forestry
No matter what the numbers say, officials in the forestry industry are staying positive that when
the economic downturn is over, they will bounce back strong.
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