Trucking Biz Buzz

Truckers for Troops gives shoes to homeless vets as part of Operation Stand Down

The Truckers for Troops campaign donated 120 pairs of shoes to homeless veterans as it continues its expanded mission of providing care packages to U.S. military veterans at home and abroad.

The shoe donations were made as part of the Heart of America Stand Down event on Friday, June 8, in Kansas City, Mo. Stand Down events take place throughout the United States and are part of the Veterans Administration’s efforts to provide supplies and services to homeless veterans.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association began the Truckers for Troops care package campaign in 2007. Since its founding, the effort has raised more than $595,000 and sent care packages serving more than 38,000 military personnel oversees in combat zones, to veterans homes and veterans assistance functions.

OOIDA sends care packages overseas throughout the year as part of the campaign.

“So far in 2018, we’ve been able to send care packages out to about 250 people oversees and to about 20 veterans’ homes or events,” said Norita Taylor, director of public relations. “We anticipate sending more this summer. Care packages include personal items, hygiene care, books, and snacks, whereas the veterans packages tend to be customized to the immediate needs of those homes or events including things like shoes or musical instruments.”

OOIDA members can support Truckers for Troops by signing up or renewing their membership during the week of Veteran’s Day.

A radio broadcast is planned for each day of that week on OOIDA’s Land Line Now satellite radio show on Sirius XM 146. During that week, truckers can join OOIDA or renew their membership for $35, with 10 percent of that money going toward care packages. OOIDA matches the 10 percent dollar for dollar. Any new or renewal memberships collected go toward the Truckers for Troops fund. Individual tax-deductible contributions to the Truckers for Troops fund are also welcome and can be paid to the OOIDA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

Package addresses
Anyone who would like a family member or friend serving in a combat zone with the U.S. military to get a care package can send the name and complete address to troops@ooida.com.  Be sure to include a projected stateside return date. Requests from veteran facilities with unmet needs also are welcome.

Cards and letters
If you would like us to include your hand-made cards or letters in care packages, please send them to us. Attention: Truckers for Troops; P.O. Box 1000; Grain Valley, MO 64029. Towns or school names can be included, but please do not include last names or other personal information.

Daimler plans facility devoted to automated truck research

Daimler Trucks is doubling down on its investment in automated truck research with plans to build a new, dedicated facility in Portland, Ore.

The company announced plans for its Automated Truck Research and Development Center at its Daimler Trucks Capital Market and Technology Day June 6.

Plans call for the facility to be built next to Daimler Trucks North America LLC’s headquarters in Portland.

Daimler Trucks plans to invest more than $2.9 billion in automated truck research and development in 2018-19, according to a news release. More than $589 million of that amount is earmarked for e-mobility, connectivity and automated commercial vehicle technology.

The center will be dedicated to further developing automated driving technology and understanding its impact on society and benefits for customers, according to a news release. Daimler engineers at the new facility will draw on Daimler resources in Stuttgart, Germany, and Bangalore, India.

While Daimler Trucks said it does not expect autonomous commercial trucks to be mass-produced soon. However, the technology has the potential “to create numerous advantages for the global logistics industry by helping fleets to keep up with ever-increasing freight demands as the pool of long-haul truck drivers continues to decrease,” according to a news release.

Daimler showed off its expertise with automated trucks and platooning at the event during an exhibition at Portland International Raceway. The company said it was preparing for the first real-world test of platooning. Daimler aims “to validate the practicality of hauling commercial freight with platooned vehicles,” according to a news release.

Land Line Now begins offering full broadcast online and via podcast

If you miss a part of Land Line Now’s radio show on Sirius XM channel 146 because you had to take care of business – or maybe you don’t have satellite radio at all but want to hear the broadcast – Land Line Now now has you covered.

Beginning June 6, Land Line Now will offer its full show the following day at 6 a.m. Eastern streaming online at LandLineNow.com. For those on the road and listening to audio on their phone, the show can be accessed as a podcast on various podcast apps as well.

“The No. 1 question we have been asked over and over since we went on the air is, ‘Why can I not listen to your show online?’” Land Line Now host Mark Reddig said. “Frankly, this is overdue, and we’re glad to provide it.”

Podcasts will be available on most podcast apps, including Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, Overcast, Podbean and others. Simply subscribe to the podcast, set up automatic downloads for new episodes and watch the latest Land Line Now broadcast pop up on your phone every morning.

Trucking rebounds from largest job loss in nearly a decade

For the 16th consecutive month, transportation jobs overall scored gains in May. The transport sector netted nearly 19,000 jobs to the economy, the highest increase since March’s gain of nearly 20,000 jobs. Trucking jobs also experienced its highest monthly increase since March after experiencing the largest decrease in nearly a decade.

The truck transportation subsector experienced an increase of 6,600 jobs in May after the industry lost 6,400 in April and gained 8,100 in March. Adjusted numbers reveal April’s loss to be the largest since May 2009, when 7,000 trucking jobs were lost. Numbers for May and April are preliminary and are likely to change in the coming months.

Trucking and warehousing/storage experienced the largest increase with 6,600 more jobs each, followed by couriers/messengers at 4,800 additional jobs. Scenic/sightseeing transportation experienced the only loss in May with 400 fewer jobs.

In 2017, the transportation and warehousing sector had a net gain of more than 3 million jobs. In every month except January there was a job increase compared to the previous month. September accounted for the largest one-month increase, with more than 25,000 jobs in the sector added to the economy. For the year, the trucking subsector had a net gain of 9,400 jobs in 2017.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $24.30 for May – a 1-cent increase from April and up 53 cents from May 2017. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees remained stagnant at $21.79 from the previous month but are up 56 cents year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $26.92, an 8-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.7 percent, or 71 cents.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations dropped significantly to 4.9 percent, compared with 5.5 percent in May 2017, but up from 4.4 percent in April. The overall unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, the lowest in 18 years. The number of long-term unemployed dropped slightly to 1.2 million, accounting for 19.4 percent of the unemployed.

International and Freightliner issue truck recalls over separate issues

More than 18,000 International trucks are being recalled over an issue with the seat belt assembly. In a separate recall, Freightliner is recalling more than 1,000 Cascadia trucks because of loose air bag fasteners.

International’s recall affects a variety of model year 2018 and 2019 vehicles. In affected vehicles, the front driver and passenger seawwt belt anchor D-ring bolt may break in the event of a crash, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall document.

Vehicles affected by the recall:

  • Durastar 2018, 2019
  • HV 2019
  • Lonestar 2018, 2019
  • LT 2018-2019
  • MV 2019
  • Prostar 2018, 2019
  • RH 2018, 2019
  • Transtar 2018
  • Workstar 2018, 2019
  • IC Bus HC 2018, 2019

According to NHTSA’s recall acknowledgment, Navistar has notified owners. Dealers will replace the D-ring bolt if needed for free. For questions, call Navistar customer service at 800-448-7825 with recall number 18505. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-293. The recall is already underway.

Freightliner’s recall affects certain 2018-2019 Cascadia trucks. NHTSA’s recall document reveals the fasteners that secure the driver's air bag module within the steering wheel may not have been installed to specification, possibly affecting the front air bag deployment in the event of a crash.

Daimler Trucks North America will notify owners. Dealers will inspect the air bag fasteners and tighten them to specifications for free. Questions can be directed to DTNA’s customer service at 800-547-0712 with recall number FL-771. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-300. Recalls are scheduled to begin on July 6.

Maryland removes E-ZPass transponder fees

Maryland residents and business owners can now save a few bucks thanks to a recent announcement from Gov. Larry Hogan. The Maryland Transportation Authority will waive E-ZPass fees for all new customers.

A permanent move, the $7.50 E-ZPass transponder fee has been eliminated. It may not sound like much, but a news release from the governor’s office claims it will save Marylanders $46 million over the next five years.

This comes on the back of the governor’s announcement in 2015 about major toll rollbacks across the state. That resulted in savings of $270 million.

Of the $46 million savings for the fee waiver, $6 million comes from the actual fee. The remaining $40 million is the estimated toll discounts from the use of transponders over the next five years.

Existing customers will get some relief as well. The transportation authority will replace approximately 400,000 old transponders for free.

Already bought a transponder this year? No worries. The Maryland Transportation Authority will issue a credit of $7.50 on accounts of transponders that were purchased in 2018. Credit is only good for activated accounts in good standing.

Kerry Brandt, a Maryland Transportation Authority spokeswoman, confirmed to Land Line that the elimination of transponder fees applies to commercial vehicles as well as passenger vehicles.

Michelin announces plan for 100 percent recycled tires by 2048

Clean energy. That is the theme at Michelin’s Movin’ On mobility conference, presented May 29 through June 1 in Montreal. Keeping with the theme, Michelin announced its plan to manufacture all tires with 80 percent sustainable materials and 100 percent of all tires recycled by 2048.

Michelin’s plan will include 50 percent biosourced materials and 30 percent recycled materials within 30 years. Currently, only 26 percent of tires are made with biosourced materials and 2 percent with recycled materials. The remaining 72 percent is made up of petroleum-based materials.

According to Michelin, the recovery rate for tires worldwide is at 70 percent and the recycling rate at 50 percent. Michelin plans to reach the 80 percent sustainable materials landmark by what it calls “high technology.”

Through a partnership with Axens and IFP Energies Nouvelles, Michelin launched the Biobutterfly program in 2012. Biobutterfly’s mission is to devise a synthetic rubber from biomass such as wood, straw or beet. Michelin also acquired Lehigh, a company that makes “micronized rubber powder.” Lehigh Technologies is now a specialty chemical company that is part of the High Technology Materials Business Unit of Michelin.

Environmental gains have the potential to be huge. According to Michelin, if the company achieves its goal, the savings will equal:

  • 33 million barrels of oil saved per year
  • One month’s total energy consumption of France
  • 40 billion miles driven by an average sedan per year
  • All cars in Europe driving 140 miles or 34 miles for all cars worldwide (1.2 billion cars estimated).

The announcement of 80 percent sustainable materials expands on Michelin’s Vision concept announced during last year’s Movin’ On conference. Michelin’s Vision concept includes an airless tire made of bio-sourced/recycled products and a biodegradable tread that can renewed with a 3D printer.

Truck NAFTA value reaches highest in at least 12 years

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in March trucks moved more than 63 percent of NAFTA freight – with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. Four of five modes experienced an increase in freight year to year. By value, trucks carried the most cross-border since at least January 2006.

The value of freight hauled across the borders rose significantly by 12.6 percent compared with February, when freight dropped by nearly 3 percent from the previous month. Compared to March 2017, freight was up 5.5 percent. This marks the 17th consecutive month of year-to-year increases.

March 2017 had the largest month-to-month increase (16 percent) since March 2011, when NAFTA freight was up more than 22 percent compared to February 2011. NAFTA freight declined by nearly 11 percent in July 2017, the largest decline for the year.

In March 2017, the index reached more than $100 billion for the first time since October 2014 before going back below that mark in April. That landmark was revisited in October and maintained through November before dipping below the $100 billion mark again in December. March marks the first month in 2018 to reach beyond $100 million.

August, November and December were the only months to have a year-to-year increase in 2016, at 0.7 percent, 3.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. August was the first year-to-year increase since December 2014, when freight increased by more than 5 percent.

Trucks carried nearly $67 billion of the nearly $106 billion of imports and exports in March, the most in terms of value since at least January 2006. Data on the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ website only goes as far back as January 2006.

Year-to-year, Canada truck freight increased by 3.8 percent and Mexico freight rose by 4.4 percent. Top truck commodities were computers and parts, motor vehicles and parts, electrical machinery, plastics, and measuring/testing instruments.

Freight totaled $105.767 billion, up nearly $12 billion from the previous month and an increase of more than $5 billion from March 2017.

Vessel freight accounted for the largest increase at 42 percent after an increase of 45 percent in February. Trucks accounted for an increase of 4.1 percent. Truck freight experienced increases of 9 percent in February and 10.2 percent in January.

More than 57 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 17 percent. U.S.-Mexico freight went up by nearly 6 percent compared with March 2017. Of the $51.865 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried more than 68 percent of the loads.

One20 to end ELD operations

Truck drivers, who have been using One20’s F-ELD to comply with the electronic logging device mandate, will soon need to find an alternative provider.

One20 has announced it will cease operations on June 18.

“Your One20 apps (One20 maps, My One20 and One20 F-ELD) will not continue to work,” the company posted on its website. “We won’t be doing any updates or offering any support. We’ll miss you and hope that you all continue to support each other the way you always have. Who knows, maybe we’ll meet again down the road.”

Land Line’s attempts to reach One20 for comment on Monday, May 21 were unsuccessful.

On May 17, TruckThat Holdings announced in a news release that it had acquired several One20 entities. The acquisition, which was for an undisclosed amount, included Online Tire MN (operating as One20 Tire), One20 BNK, One20 Strong, One20 Trucking, CLS Developments and TruckThat.

Christian Schenk, who was the president and CEO of One20, is also the founder and CEO of TruckThat.

“The consolidation of companies will set up TruckThat Holdings for more sustainable growth, create a unified member experience, increase operational efficiencies, and offer more benefits and services under one organization than any other well-established trucking community,” Schenk said in a news release.

One20 launched the F-ELD product in 2017 and made a splash by offering free beer to truck drivers at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky. The company also was known for its edgy advertising campaign, which included images of a hand holding up a middle finger next to the words “We can’t put our finger on it. But the ELD mandate just doesn’t feel right.”

In February 2017, Rand McNally filed a lawsuit that accused One20 of defamation and orchestrating “fake” Twitter accounts to make customers believe the longtime company was going bankrupt. The lawsuit, which was set for trial in 2019, also specifically named Schenk. 

Some of the advertisements posted on the One20 website included a photo of a Rand McNally device with the header “Is your nav provider going bankrupt? Don’t get stuck without a warranty!”

One20 contended that the statements highlighted in Rand McNally’s complaint didn’t meet the requirements of defamation.

Compliance check-up – OOIDA can help

Trucking is notorious for the paperwork required not only of truckers, but motor carriers. The alphabet soup of permits alone can make your head spin.

OOIDA’s Permits and Licensing Department is here to help.

The team members work to educate members about authority and permits. On the authority front they can assist members who need to apply for or update authority. Beyond that they can also assist with reinstatements, name and address changes, biennial updates, and your BOC-3.

As if that’s not enough, on the permit side of things they can assist OOIDA members with Unified Carrier Registration, weight-distance permits, intrastate permits, International Registration Plan, IFTA, 2290 – you name it they can help.

While all of the filing services are priced depending on what’s needed and the scope of the motor carrier operation, compliance is the main focus.

“The most important service we provide is helping our members make sure they have everything they need,” said Crystal Minardi, permits and licensing department supervisor. “That’s why we encourage them to call in and go over everything as part of their membership and make sure that they are in compliance.”

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