Denny Hamlin won his fifth Sprint Cup race of the season with a dominating run at New Hampshire motor speedway on Sunday. Hamlin made a bold prediction after his 16th place finish last week, tweeting "[w]e will win next week" after the race. He backed up those words in a big way at New Hampshire, as he led for 193 of the 300 laps, including the final 52. Hamlin's win was especially impressive considering he started the race in 32nd position.
The Transportation Department's Compliance, Safety and Accountability system, in development since 2004, is intended to flag companies with unsafe operating practices for inspection. However, the American Trucking Association, or ATA, citing complaints with the system, is seeking a review of the data the Transportation Department includes in their rating system.
The ATA told a House committee the safety rating system was unfair and blamed trucking, bus and other transportation companies for accidents that weren't their fault.
The Truckload Carriers Association is adding new concepts to their annual efforts to support drivers during the National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. A new focus on wellness has been added to the event. This will translate into a range of health lectures, fairs and celebrity endorsements. All of these efforts will aim to encourage better diets and more exercise for truck drivers. Drivers will learn new ways to take control of their health without having to give up their livelihood. 12 Petro/Travel Centers of America locations will host the events on September 18th, from 3 to 8 pm.
According to Bob Costello, the chief economist for ATA, freight volumes are slowly, but steadily, rising. This trend has increased the need for truck drivers. He stated that he believes there is a shortage of between 20,000 and 30,000 drivers in the trucking industry. He expects those numbers to increase as freight volumes continue to grow. ATA contends that the shortage is of quality truck drivers rather than the number of drivers. Costello stated that carriers are increasingly competing for drivers who have clean histories because of regulatory oversight changes.
It took until the wee hours of Sunday morning to finally find out who would make this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup. Rain delayed the start of the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Virginia's Richmond International Speedway and then halted it once again 48 laps before the halfway point, which would have made the race official. As the rain continued to come down, it appeared for awhile that the drivers might not get a chance to finish what they had started.
The lack of increase in capacity in the trucking industry has helped the industry weather the economic downturn. Since capacity has remained steady from initial cuts, prices have been able to remain high for various forms of trucking.
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Allen Smith about the 2nd Annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention being held in Kansas City October 27th through the 28th. This conference is meant for both education and recognition of drivers around the nation.
Q: What first inspired you to start this convention? Was there a specific need or event?
The Texas Transportation Commission has made the decision to give one of its highways the highest speed limit in the country. Last year, the Texas Legislature granted the state permission to add this new speed limit for some roads. Interstate 34, a 41 mile toll road , will be the first highway in the country to go above 80 mph. Many are excited about the change. Commuters, those prepping for the holiday season, and truckers are excited to test out the new speed limit. However, some people are concerned about safety.
As the Canadian government considers legislation that would mandate EOBRs in all trucks, competing write-in campaigns are underway to influence the government's decision. Pro-EOBR organization Canadian Trucking Alliance began their campaign first, but the North American Truckers Guild is working hard to catch up.