Trucking Biz Buzz

Daimler Trucks offers new after-treatment system warranty coverage

Daimler Trucks North America has announced a new option under its Select Limited Warranty coverage offered through its used truck network, SelecTrucks. The new warranty will cover the after-treatment system on both Detroit and Cummins engines.

Used Freightliner and Western Star trucks are eligible for the new warranty. Any Freightliner or Western Star service center in the U.S. or Canada will be able to complete any repairs under the warranty.

System components including the diesel oxidation catalyst, the selective catalyst reduction, and both the doser injector and the diesel exhaust fluid injector are covered under the ATS warranty. Temperature and pressure sensors are also included.

A key feature included in this warranty is coverage for the failure of the diesel particulate filter, which could potentially cost customers up to $2,500. The cost to replace an entire ATS, without this warranty, could easily exceed $10,000, according to a DTNA press release.


Spot market rates show no improvement for fourth consecutive week

Two leading load boards indicated another week void of improvements for the movement of rates for van, reefer and flatbed freight last week. Rates are either down or unchanged for most modes.

Analysis of rates provided by DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards, and reveals mostly decreased or unchanged rates for reefers, flatbeds and vans.

Van rates remained stagnant at $1.73 for the third consecutive week, according to DAT van rates dropped a penny to $1.74, bringing the two load boards closer to agreement for van rates.

Reefer rates at were down 2 cents to $2.02. Over at DAT, reefer rates remained unchanged at $2.01. Over the past several weeks, reefer rates between the two load boards have remained relatively close together.

Flatbed rates went up a penny from the previous week to $1.98, according to DAT is reporting no change at $2.03 for flatbed rates. Between the two load boards, flatbeds have consistently displayed the greatest disparity of the three modes, with this week revealing a 5-cent gap, closing the gap by a penny compared to the previous week.

Across all modes, shows that load availability increased by 2.45 percent, and truck supply went down by 2.38 percent, indicating a small advantage for truckers seeking loads in comparison to the previous week. According to DAT, load-to-truck ratios for were up anywhere from 9 percent to 14 percent across all modes. has placed the Market Demand Index (MDI) at 11.1, a 1 percent increase from the previous week. The MDI is a comparison of available loads to available trucks posted on the load board. The higher the MDI, the better the chances that the power rests with the carriers and vice versa; currently, 10 represents an even market.


Vis-à-vis WV v. VW

The state of West Virginia is suing Volkswagen, saying the company violated the state’s consumer protection law by advertising “clean diesel” cars.

The Environmental Protection Agency has accused Volkswagen of installing a device in its diesel cars that fools inspectors when they’re testing for emissions. The rest of the time, the device allegedly allows the cars to put out emissions of up to 40 times the allowable level.

The West Virginia lawsuit says nearly 2,700 diesel-powered Volkswagen vehicles are registered in the state. The suit seeks a $5,000 penalty for each violation and a refund for consumers.


OOIDA recognizes drivers for safe driving records

OOIDA recognizes drivers for safe driving records
OOIDA recently announced honorees in the Association’s Safe Driving Award program. The following drivers have been recognized by the Association for truck driving excellence:

  • Daniel J. Piper of LaSalle, Ill., has been recognized for 40 years of safe, accident-free driving.
  • Gregg A. Neal of Manvel, Texas, has been recognized for 30 years of safe, accident-free driving.
  • Gene A. Gingrich of Shartlesville, Pa., has been recognized for 26 years of safe, accident-free driving.
  • Roy E. Harris of Spokane, Wash., has been recognized for 26 years of safe, accident-free driving.
  • Jack K. Schriver of Channelview, Texas, has been recognized for 20 years of safe, accident-free driving.
  • Tony Smith of Indianapolis, Ind., has been recognized for 20 years of safe, accident-free driving.
  • Rodney Folkerts of Chehalis, Wash., has been recognized for 15 years of safe, accident-free driving.
  • Andrea Folkerts of Chehalis, Wash., has been recognized for 10 years of safe, accident-free driving.
  • Brian D. Vannoy of Warner Robins, Ga., has been recognized for five years of safe, accident-free driving.
  • Steven V. Bennett of Norristown, Pa., has been recognized for one year of safe, accident-free driving.

The OOIDA Safe Driving Award Program is designed to recognize and reward OOIDA members for their safe, accident-free years while operating a commercial vehicle. Safe driving awards are available to all eligible OOIDA members who qualify based on the number of years for which the member has operated a commercial vehicle without being involved in a preventable accident.

The program is sponsored by Shell Rotella.


Trucking industry lost 4,000 jobs in September

September marked the eighth consecutive month of job gains for the transportation sector. However, after a slight job increase in August, the truck transportation subsector lost jobs in September.

The transportation sector gained more than 3,000 jobs in September, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest monthly growth since January when the industry lost nearly 9,000 jobs.

The truck transportation subsector experienced a loss of 4,000 jobs after the industry gained 700 in August and nearly 3,000 in July. September is only the second month of 2015 in which the trucking industry lost jobs. Nearly 7,000 truck transportation jobs were lost in March.

Trucks experienced the largest job loss with transit and ground passenger transportation losing the second most with more than 1,000 jobs eliminated from the workforce. Couriers and messengers received the largest injection of jobs with an increase of 3,000.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $22.86 for September, an 8-cent increase from August. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees decreased 4 cents to $20.64. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $25.09, unchanged from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.2 percent.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations is down to 5.8 percent from 6.8 percent last September. The overall unemployment rate for the country stayed stagnant at 5.1 percent. According to The Washington Post, the unemployment rate for August and September is the lowest since April 2008 and is considered to be “full employment.” The number of long-term unemployed saw little change compared with the previous month at 2.1 million. However, that number has decreased by 847,000 in the past 12 months.


Sleep test? You have the right to choose your own

So what happens if your DOT examiner requires you to have a sleep test?

Normally, you’ll get a temporary medical card allowing you enough time for testing. They may request you visit a hospital or sleep lab for a full overnight sleep test, which can range from $800 to $1,500 or more. It will also cost you a couple of days off the road.

Even though your DOT examiner may refer you to a sleep test provider – you have the right to choose your own. Do you have to go to a sleep lab? No, you can take the test anywhere you can get a night’s sleep.

OOIDA members now have a discount for Phoenix Sleep Solutions – a home sleep study that meets the objectives of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and is considerably cheaper. A Phoenix home sleep study is $250. The cost of the CPAP, power adapter and compliance monitoring is $650. You can take the test where you choose and on your own schedule – even if you are on the road.

Got questions? Call OOIDA Membership Department at 800-444-5791.


Free flu shot, thanks to the St. Christopher Fund

With support from OOIDA and Con-way, the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund has made arrangements with two major health retail businesses for a free flu shot program for CDL holders.

SCF has teamed up with Walgreens for CDL holders presenting the voucher to get a free flu shot at any of their locations. Those vouchers are available now. SCF has also teamed up with The Little Clinic, located inside select Kroger, King Soopers, JayC, Dillons and Fry’s Stores, to provide trivalent flu shots for truckers with a voucher. Those vouchers will be available Oct. 8.

No appointment is necessary. You don’t need to be an OOIDA member.

All you need is your CDL and a special voucher. Where do you get a voucher? They are available at the OOIDA tour truck, now on the road. The next stop for pilot Jon Osburn and the Spirit is the TA Knoxville West in Tennessee on Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

The truck will be on the move this fall, with stops at the Petro in Kenly, N.C., Oct. 3-6. Then on to Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kansas and Oklahoma. Click here for the schedule.

The charge for the flu shots is paid for by the St. Christopher Fund, thanks to donations from OOIDA, Con-way, Walgreens and The Little Clinic.

If you don’t cross paths with Jon and the OOIDA truck in your trucking travels, you can email and the St. Christopher Fund will send you one.


Commerce report from July: Truck freight experienced minor decrease

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reports that in July trucks moved nearly 64 percent of all the international freight, with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest.

The value of freight hauled across the borders decreased by more than 6 percent when compared with June when freight went up nearly 7 percent. All modes, except for air, carried less freight when compared with last July.

Vessel and pipeline freight continue to suffer when compared to last year, contributing to the monthly decline in U.S.-NAFTA trade flow, according to BTS. Freight totaled $93 billion, down more than $6 billion from the previous month and down more than $8 billion from July 2014.

Pipeline freight experienced the steepest decline at nearly 35 percent, a slight improvement from the 40 percent drop in June. Air freight experienced the only net gain over the past 12 months with a 3.4 percent increase. Trucks had the smallest loss at less than 1 percent.

Trucks were responsible for nearly $60 billion of the $93 billion of imports and exports in July. Rail came in second with a contribution of nearly $13 billion.

Nearly 60 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 14.3 percent. U.S.-Mexico freight went down by 0.8 percent compared with July 2014. Of the $45.5 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried more than 70 percent of the loads.


TravelCenters presents check of $315,331 to St. Christopher Fund for truckers

TravelCenters of America, operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers, has announced another record-setting annual campaign donation to the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund. As a result of customer and employee donations received during its annual “Band Together for SCF” campaign, TravelCenters presented a check for $315,331 to the SCF.

Each year TravelCenters goal is to exceed the previous year's donations to the SCF. By rallying customers and employees around the single cause of helping professional drivers who are suffering financial hardship due to medical problems, TravelCenters has worked to help raise more than $1.7 million since 2010 for the Fund.

The Band Together for SCF campaign, which ran during August at 256 TA and Petro Stopping Centers locations nationwide, invited customers and employees to make $1 and $5 donations. Those making a $1 donation received a commemorative wristband and those making a $5 donation received an SCF keychain. One hundred percent of all donations have gone to the SCF. During the campaign, SCF also received a generous contribution of $2,500 from vendor partner, Bell Gaming.

President and CEO of TravelCenters Tom O’Brien thanked customers, employees and vendors who contributed this year.


How much did 9/11 affect cost of northern cross-border trucking?

Statistics Canada released a report in July that shows that since Sept. 11, 2001, the cost of trucking goods across the border between the U.S. and Canada has increased from .3 percent of the value of goods shipped to .6 percent. 

The study pointed to the obvious, the implementation of new security measures designed to prevent illegal shipments at border crossing points.

“From 1994 to 2000, it cost, on average, 16 percent more to move goods across the Canada-U.S. border by truck than to move the same goods the same distance domestically,” the Canadian report states. “After 2000, the premium paid to cross the border rose steadily to 25 percent in 2005 and remained at about that level until 2009.”

Statistics Canada said the study resulted from data collected by Statistic Canada’s Trucking Commodity origin and Destination Survey.

“Costs measured by this study are only part of the total cost of shipping goods across the border,” Statistics Canada said in a summary of the study posted online. “Institutional costs borne directly by exporting firms for matters such as customs administration have been estimated to be as great or greater than the costs passed on to them by freight carriers.”

Canada’s plan to build the Gordie Howe International Bridge is aimed in part at adding faster, cheaper shipping alternatives for such exports.

The billion-dollar project calls for a six-lane bridge between Windsor and Detroit complete with a $250 millionU.S. Customs plaza that Canada has agreed to fund. The bridge is scheduled to open by 2020.

According to the CBC, the U.S. and Canada have the largest bilateral trading relationship in the world – measuring at $870 billion in 2014. An estimated $2.4 billion in goods and services cross the U.S.-Canada border every day.



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