New legislation, dubbed the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (SETA), may allow states to approve larger trucks, potentially increasing efficiency in long-haul trucking.
The new bill, introduced on April 7th, would permit states to draft their own rules on truck weight. Trucks under the new legislation would be allowed up to 97,000 pounds and six axles. Any truck weighing over 80,000 pounds would be required to use a six axle configuration.
Oregon has recently announced a requirement that the majority or the diesel fuel in the state contain 5% biodiesel. This is an increase from the 2% that is currently required throughout the state.
Biodiesel is made from renewable resources, and contains to petroleum products. It is also a clean burning fuel source, and requires no engine modifications to run in current diesel applications. Biodiesel is also a cleaner burning fuel than regular petroleum-based diesel, and less emissions.
IntelliRoute TND GPS from Rand McNally combines GPS navigation and real-time traffic data.
Providing real-time traffic information can help drivers find the best route, avoid traffic delays, and be more efficient with their time. The device also features a 7” display, increased map clarity, calendar, and a notepad. The device is centered around the way professional truck drivers use a GPS, and the features they need to plan their day.
In order to remain financially stable, trucking companies are trying new methods to reduce fuel cost as much as possible.
One of these methods is to reduce the speed that the trucks are driving. Trucking companies are installing speed limiting devices that o limit the maximum speed that these trucks travel. This helps improve miles per gallon and reduce overall operating costs associated with fuel.
Texas has voted to move ahead with a plan to allow additional idle time for clean idle engines, and increase the weight allowance for trucks equipped with Auxiliary Power Units.
Current idle time is restricted to 5 minutes every hour in specific locations during warmer months of the year. This has applied to all heavy trucks, regardless of their engine specifications. Trucks currently running "clean engines" do not have an increased idle time.
Due to the recent increases and uncertain future of diesel fuel prices, the American Trucking Association has requested the Obama administration open up more US-based sources of oil. This includes offshore reserves potentially reached through drilling.
The past 10 days have seen a stabilization of average gas prices in the US. The current US average is hovering around $3.54 per gallon.
After a highly volatile February and beginning of March, gas prices have remained relatively stable, fluctuating between $3.52 and $3.54 per gallon US average. Any stability in gas prices is welcome to those in the trucking industry, where gas makes up a large percentage of daily operating costs.
Mark Pryor, Senator from Arkansas, joined the ranks of government officials who oppose the new agreement to allow Mexican trucks to operate within the US.Previously, Representative Peter DeFazio has expressed concerns over the arrangement.
Both representatives oppose the funding of Electronic Onboard Recorders for Mexican Trucks. As the agreement stands currently, the US government would pay for the required devices on all trucks authorized to operate in the US.
Texas is now offering PrePass technology for trucking companies operating in the state.
PrePass technology allows approved trucking companies with a good safety record to bypass certain inspection stations on their route. Trucks eligible for this –program must be equipped with a transponder. The system is designed to save money and speed up the delivery of goods nationwide. PrePass also reduces fuel use from slowing down and then accelerating at weigh stations.
Over the next 7 years, employment of truck drivers will rise 9 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Take Celedon in Indianapolis, Indiana for example. They currently run 3000 tractors, and are looking to add another 100 positions. Much of their growth is due to smaller trucking companies closing due to economic factors. The growth will be in both the Over The Road (OTR) and regional postions.