August 2013

NEW HOS NOW IN EFFECT. Beginning July 1, the new federal Hours Of Service regulations went into effect limiting drivers' hours to 70 per week. A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) spokesperson stated that "Only the most extreme schedules will be affected, and that more than 85% of the truck driving workforce will see no changes." "These fatigue-fighting rules for truck drivers were carefully crafted based on years of scientific research and unprecedented stakeholder outreach," FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro said. "The result is a fair and balanced approach that will result in an estimated $280 million in savings from fewer large truck crashes and $470 million in savings from improved driver health. Most importantly, it will save lives," Ferro said in a statement.

SPEEDY OHIO. The new Ohio speed limit on 570 miles of rural interstate highways increased to 70 mph from 65 mph on July 1st. While the speed limit has increased, so has the vigilance of law enforcement officials to ensure compliance. The Ohio State Highway Patrol has reportedly issued more than 16,000 speeding tickets based on aircraft observations…

FOXX AT THE WHEEL. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx was sworn in as the new head of the Department of Transportation and a member of President Barack Obama's cabinet Tuesday, July 2, at DOT headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In a blog post on the DOT's website, Foxx says he plans to "focus on three key areas" now that he's officially assumed his new position: Safety, efficiency and performance and improving the future transportation system. Foxx was nominated to replace outgoing Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood in late April. The Department of Transportation employees 55,000 people and has a $70 billion annual budget and oversees surface, maritime and air transportation. In a statement, Foxx said: "Safety will remain our top priority at DOT.

DRIVERS NEEDED. The trucking industry will need more than 96,000 new drivers every year for the next 10 years, according to ATA, to offset lost drivers and older drivers getting out of the business. Fewer and fewer young people are moving into the industry as a way of life. An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 driving positions could go unfilled this year, according to projections…

DARN GOOD TRUCK STOP. If you ever get down South, check out Porky's Truck Stop in Hamer, S.C. 
Advertised on billboards 100 miles away, Porky's is hardly a secret, but it doesn't mean it's not worth a visit. Amid the mini-golf, wedding chapel, reptile lagoon, golf course and jogging trail, there's also a truck stop. You can take it all in from the 200-foot-tall Sombrero Observation Tower…

NATURAL GAS. According to a report in the Motley Fool, as a means of assisting the growth of the natural gas vehicle market, particularly the creation of infrastructure to support it, Procter & Gamble said that, beginning in July 2013, it would convert 20% of its for-hire truck loads across eight different carriers to natural gas over the next two years. The initial stage of the conversion, to be delivered in 16 states with an average length of haul over 280 miles, will convert approximately 7% of the North American for-hire transportation network to natural gas-powered trucks.

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