The latest Polk’s Quarterly Commercial Vehicle Report revealed good news for trucking companies and those in truck driving jobs. New registrations for Class 3-8 vehicles were up over 23 percent in 2011. More than 461,000 commercial trucks were registered last year, as compared to just under 375,000 in 2010. This represents a nearly 40 percent increase in registrations over 2009. However, as encouraging as these figures are for the trucking industry, they represent a significant decrease over the number of new registrations in 2006, which was just over 800,000.
One of the leading companies for trucking improvements was recently given a prestigious award. Aeroefficient, which manufacturers a wide range of aerodynamic devices, saw its Side Skirts honored by Heavy Duty Trucking magazine with inclusion in their list of the “Top 20 Products of 2011”.
There are a variety of challenges facing trucking companies today. They are, but not restricted to, higher operating costs, increased regulation, and a slower than expected economic recovery.
Fuel prices recently have been very volatile recently. A research done by the Department of Energy has shown that, on average, diesel prices have increased by seventy three cents per gallon which represents a twenty three percent increase. This is a major challenge as fuel surcharges do not cover this increase.
Goodyear has named four finalists for its annual North America Highway Hero Award. The finalists include: a trucker who rescued a motorist from a car just before it exploded; a driver who defended a woman against a gun-wielding attacker; a driver who aided an elderly couple during a blizzard; and a truck driver who pulled a trapped motorist from a pond.
Truck stops and convenience stores are opposed to Amendment 217 in the transportation bill. If it passes, then the amendment would allow states to privatize interstate rest stops. The bill could cause devastating consequences for small business owners and trucking companies.
Amendment 217 was intended to create jobs. However, it will negatively impact convenience stores, truck stops and gas stations. In fact, it is considered one of the biggest risks that small businesses have ever faced. The bill will even hurt truck driving jobs.
The American Trucking Association (ATA) has filed suit to stop new regulations the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) plans to implement. The recent rule changes would impact current hours-in-service regulations that apply to the commercial trucking industry. Although there has been a great deal of speculation that the Teamsters will join the suit, the union has not yet made a move to do so.
The last few months have produced a number of encouraging indicators that showing that the trucking industry is starting to improve again. One major sign of improvement is the rising profits and production levels reported by the biggest vehicle OEMs.
A bill that would address road infrastructure and institute travel regulations moved forward in the Senate, gaining the approval of national transportation organization like the American Trucking Associations. The bill is seen as an important way to protect truck driving jobs and ensure a bright future for the trucking industry.
The American Truck Associations, the biggest trucking group in the United States, has filed a formal legal challenge against the new driver fatigue rules recently enacted by the Transportation Department. The group says that the rules focus on the wrong aspects of common safety issues and are in violation of the legal requirements. The petition was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals on February 14th. In the petition, the ATA called upon the Hobbs Act.
The new bill, titled The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, was proposed by Republicans in the House of Representatives and authorizes $260 billion dollars in funds for highway infrastructure projects. The act is being represented as a job creating and energy independence bill by Republicans, but the opposition has concerns over changes to trucking regulations contained in the bill.