PAPERWORK ELIMINATION PROPOSED. In a move to eliminate paperwork labeled “burdensome” by Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary has proposed to eliminate the daily requirement that drivers must file driver inspection reports after every equipment inspection. Under current regulations, drivers must file an inspection report after every pre and post-trip regardless of whether or not there was an issue requiring repairs; under the proposed change, filings need only be made when defects or issues are uncovered. Foxx estimates that this will save the industry “billions of dollars” while still maintaining the agency’s commitment to safety. The FMCSA is now reviewing the proposed rule and plans to collect comments.
COURT UPHOLDS HOS RULES. A U.S. appeals court on August 2nd upheld most of the new federal hours of service rules, but rejected a 30-minute rest requirement for short-haul drivers, potentially ending a vicious and drawn-out battle between the trucking industry and regulators. While the FMCSA has estimated that the new work rules will prevent 1,400 crashes, 560 injuries and 19 deaths a year, The ATA has challenged the rules in federal court, arguing a change in truck driver hours of service was unwarranted based on recent improvements in truck safety and wasn't supported by scientific data.
NATURAL GAS CONTINUES TO GROW. As reported in the past, the momentum to shift to trucks that run on natural gas continues to grow. Along with the announcement by U.P.S. that its fleet of natural gas powered heavy 18-wheel vehicles would increase from 112 to 800 by the end of 2014, Daimler has added to the push by introducing several new models of natural gas trucks.
TRUCKING EMPLOYMENT UP. After declining over the past few months, industry reports indicated that trucking companies have added more than 6,000 jobs in July to meet rising freight demand.
FUEL APP. A new app by Wright Media LLC called Fuel Dawg is now available. The app was designed to show truckers the location of the least expensive fuel relative to ones current location and also can help truckers find showers, restaurants, emergency repair, etc.
EVERYTHING CONNECTED. The National Transportation Safety Board has made several recommendations to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and other groups recommending that all trucks and cars become equipped with what it calls “connected vehicle technology,” to allow the vehicle to determine if a vehicle is coming in an intersection. This recommendation was made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in July and suggested that NHTSA develop minimum standards for connected vehicle technology for all highway vehicles.
“Life is like a highway, no matter what they say, the construction is never finished.” -Nishan Panwar