Trucking News

Agricultural Exemptions Passed

"Farmers and ranchers are not professional truck drivers and shouldn't be treated as such," stated Kent Bacus, National Cattlemen's Beef Association Director of Legislative Affairs. "Hauling livestock to market two times a year is hardly the same as hauling goods across the country on a daily basis."

Transportation Hiring Increased in February

Trucking companies working with the for-hire model managed to increase the overall industry's hiring record by 3.7 percent during February. This was slightly less than the increase seen in January. The Bureau of Labor Statistics gathered all of this data in their monitoring of the trucking industry. The biggest employers increased the number of truck driving jobs by 4.1 percent during January of 2012. The rise was measured against the records for the same month in the previous year. December of 2011 also saw a 3.7 percent rise over the year before.

Pride Installs Rand McNally Navigation

Drivers of Pride Transport's more than 300 trucks will soon be finding their way around with the help of Rand McNally's award-winning navigation software. The TruckPC is an electronic recorder that lets trucking companies keep track of navigation, driver behavior, and workflow.

The decision tightens the 20-plus year relationship between Pride Transport, a family-owned refrigerated trucking carrier in the Midwest, Rockies, West Coast, and Southwest, and Rand McNally, one of America's most trusted sources for maps, directions, and travel content.

EPA Mandates for Trucks Underestimated Costs

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) underestimated the compliance costs of its medium- and heavy-truck mandates for the years 2004-20010 by a factor of two to five, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and American Truck Dealers (ATD). In a report issued March 8, 2012, NADA/ATD questioned the agency’s cost analysis when creating emissions mandates for model year (MY) 2004-2010 commercial trucks.

Trucking Adds Jobs - Unemployment Unchanged

The U.S. Labor Department reported Friday that unemployment remained at 8.3 percent for February, which is unchanged from the previous month. These numbers, though, do not concur with the latest report from Gallup showing that unemployment jumped to 9.1 percent in February.

Overall, the Labor Department reported that U.S. employers added 227,000 jobs in February, making this the three best successive months of hiring since the recession started. Hiring by trucking companies increased by 10,200 for February.

Transportation Reauthorization Bill Update

US trucking companies and other transportation industry members could be facing a serious problem if Congress fails to authorize its long-term funding. The current bill that authorizes surface transportation programs like public transit, bridges, railroads, trucking and highways will expire on March 31, 2012. This means that Congress must enact a reauthorization bill to ensure that funding for these programs isn't interrupted. Unfortunately, the current bill, H.R. 7, is not moving smoothly.

Fuel Efficiency in Fleets

The National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) began its annual Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, Indiana on March 5th. One of the opening day highlights was a presentation by the featured speaker, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy Stephen Chu. Secretary Chu touched on several topics of interest to trucking companies and offered his perspective on how current political and energy trends will impact the North American trucking industry.

Update on EOBR Mandate

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is refusing to abandon its plans to go ahead with requirements for electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) in spite of a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. In their decision, the court overturned the requirement by the (FMCSA) that EOBRs become mandatory for trucking companies that have a 10 percent or higher hours of service (HOS) violation rate.

Driver Reclassification Battle Pushes Onward In New York

The newest legislative battle over truck driving is taking place in New York. As states across the country struggle to reclassify parcel drivers and drayage truck operators, lawmakers in New York are trying to lump owner-operators in with employee drivers. The differences between the two truck driving jobs are not clear to the legislators. Port operations in Washington, New Jersey and California are proposing a similar change to truck company classifications. The laws being discussed in New York would affect all owner-operators currently working in the state.

Natural Gas Popularity Could Grow

Trucking companies obviously have a growing interest concerning the use of natural gas fuel products trucks. Peterbilt Motors Co. hosted events on the subject in Texas this week and received exuberant requests for invitations. More than twice the number of expected participants attended. During the event, executives from Peterbilt and the natural gas industry presented a variety of information that covered everything from cost savings and environmental benefits to the types of engines companies manufacture.

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