Trucking Biz Buzz

Clutch issue prompts recall of nearly 7,000 Freightliners and Western Stars

Daimler Trucks North America is recalling nearly 7,000 Freightliner and Western Star trucks over a clutch assembly issue, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

More specifically, 6,795 various models of Freightliner and Western Star trucks model year 2018-19 with Eaton ECA clutches are affected by the recall. According to NHTSA, an internal component in the clutch assembly may fail, possibly resulting in unintended vehicle movement. Unintended vehicle movement can increase the risk of a crash.

Affecting models include (all model year 2018-2019):

  • Freightliner 108SD.
  • Freightliner 114SD.
  • Freightliner 122SD.
  • Freightliner Business Class M2.
  • Freightliner Cascadia.
  • Western Star 4700.
  • Western Star 4900.
  • Western Star 5700.

Daimler will notify owners and have dealers update the software and repair any physical components. Recalls are scheduled to begin on Feb. 16. For questions, call DTNA customer service at 800-547-0712 with recall number FL-803. NHTSA’s number for this recall is 18V-903.

Nearly 7,000 Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks recalled for seat belt issue

Paccar is recalling nearly 7,000 Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks over an issue with the seat belt assembly, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

More specifically, 6,857 various models of Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks model year 2018 are affected by the recall.

According to NHTSA, the seat belt buckle assemblies on these vehicles may have been glued and not sewn during manufacturing, possibly causing the assembly to come apart under load, such as in the event of a crash. If the seat belt buckle assembly separates, it can prevent the occupant from being properly restrained in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of a crash.

Affected models include (all model year 2018):

  • Kenworth T680.
  • Kenworth T880.
  • Peterbilt 567.
  • Peterbilt 579.

Paccar will notify owners and dealers will replace the seat belt knuckle assemblies that were not sewn. Recalls began on Feb. 3. For questions, call Paccar customer service at 918-259-3258 with recall number 18KWG. NHTSA’s number for this recall is 18V-870.

November NAFTA freight experiences largest yearly decrease since July 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in November trucks moved more than 63 percent of NAFTA freight – with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. All but one mode, vessel freight, experienced a year-to-year increase, snapping a streak of six consecutive months of yearly increases across all five modes.

The value of freight hauled across the borders decreased by 7 percent compared with October, when freight increased by 9 percent from the previous month. This is the largest month-to-month decrease since July 2017, when NAFTA freight dropped by nearly 11 percent. Compared to November 2017, freight was up more than 2 percent. This marks the 25th consecutive month of year-to-year increases.

In 2017, March 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 2017 and maintained through November 2017 before dipping below the $100 billion mark again in December. March marked the first month in 2018 to reach beyond $100 million, which has been maintained through at least November so far.

Trucks carried more than $65 billion of the more than $103 billion of imports and exports in November.

Year-to-year, Canada truck freight decreased by 2 percent, whereas Mexico freight rose by nearly 7 percent. Top truck commodities were computers and parts, electrical machinery, motor vehicles and parts, plastics and measuring/testing instruments.

Freight totaled $103.043 billion, down nearly $8 billion from the previous month but an increase of more than $2 billion from November 2017.

Pipeline freight accounted for the largest increase at 7.1 percent after an increase of 26.7 percent in October. Rail freight experienced an increase of 4 percent followed by trucks at 3 percent. Truck freight experienced increases of 9 percent in October and 4.2 percent in September. Vessel freight had the only decrease at 0.7 percent after reporting an increase of nearly 34 percent in October.

Approximately 57 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 16.4 percent. Of the $52.6 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried nearly 70 percent of the loads.

Don't overlook the research resources OOIDA has gathered

Resources are available at OOIDA.com to help you keep abreast of issues facing the trucking industry.

These are resources in addition to reading Land Line Magazine, getting Land Line’s daily newsletters, regularly checking LandLineMag.com and listening to Land Line Now on SirusXM Channel 146 or archived podcasts at LandLineNow.com.

Under the Legislative menu tab, you can find a listing of state legislation here. The information is organized by state and goes back to 2010.

OOIDA’s list of priority issues for states include:

  • Public/private partnerships.
  • Uniform speed limits.
  • Idling restrictions.
  • Truck enforcement (parking, route restrictions).
  • Automated enforcement (speed cameras, red light cameras, ticket quotas, ticketing for profit).
  • Left lane use (truck lane restrictions, etc.).
  • Snow and ice removal.
  • 400-pound APU weight exemptions.
  • Transportation funding (tolls, fuel taxes, P3's, registration fees, vehicle miles traveled taxes).
  • Nnonconsensual towing.
  • Anti-indemnification.
  • Cargo theft.
  • Truck weights.
  • Local enforcement

From time to time OOIDA issues news releases to print, digital and broadcast media. You have access to those news releases here.

To protect the rights of all truckers, when necessary OOIDA initiates litigation through both the state and federal court system to combat injustices and abusive treatment of truckers.

The focus of OOIDA's lawsuits has generally been directed at unscrupulous business practices by carriers for their own financial gain or to correct state or federal legislation that puts truckers at a disadvantage.

OOIDA has pursued legal action against about 30 states resulting in refunds of several hundred million dollars to truckers in addition to stopping the proliferation of unconstitutional practice of discriminatory and burdensome taxes and permit requirements.

Under the Court Actions menu tab, you can find a list of current court cases

There also is a list of archived cases for review.

Further information can be found in the Special Reports archived here.

For a look at some of OOIDA's achievements over the past 4½ decades, check out the OOIDA Timeline organized by decade.

Members may also access OOIDA by-laws (password protected), find a listing of the members of OOIDA's executives and Board of Directors, and find the schedule for OOIDA's touring tractor-trailer, The Spirit of the American Trucker, skippered by Jon Osburn.

Another resource available to OOIDA members is the information available from the OOIDA Foundation.

The OOIDA Foundation was created to fund and sponsor research concerning economic and safety issues affecting the motor carrier industry.

There is a lot to find at the website, but don't overlook the OOIDA Foundation White Papers. These papers are compact explanations of OOIDA stances on various issues, including automated vehicle technology, CSA scores, electronic logging devices, driver training and more.

If you are pressed for time, the OOIDA Foundation offers One Pagers on a variety of topics, such as "Myth: One Truck Does More Damage than 9,600 Automobiles" and "The Dangers of Lane Restrictions."

Trucking industry kicks off 2019 with 3,600 more jobs

Net transportation jobs increased significantly in January after the first net loss in nearly two years in December. The transport sector gained nearly 27,000 jobs, due largely to a spike in the warehousing and storage subsector.

The truck transportation subsector experienced an increase of 3,600 jobs in January after the industry gained 3,000 in December and nearly 6,000 in November.

Warehousing and storage experienced the largest increase in the sector with more than 15,000 additional jobs, followed by couriers/messengers at nearly 7,000 and the trucking subsector with the third most. Only two subsectors experienced a loss: transit/ground passenger and “support activities for transportation.” Two subsectors saw no change, and two more added 300 or fewer, indicating little action throughout most of the transportation sector.

In 2018, the transportation and warehousing sector had a net gain of more than 200,000 jobs, up from 2017’s net increase of more than 185,000 jobs. Compared to the previous month, there was a net increase in jobs in every month in 2018 except December. February accounted for the largest one-month increase, with more than 28,000 jobs in the sector added to the economy. For the year, the trucking subsector had a net gain of 43,800 jobs in 2018, significantly higher than 2017’s net increase of 16,100 jobs.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector was $24.54 for January – up 3 cents from December. Earnings were up 34 cents from January 2018. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees went up a nickel to $22.20 from the previous month and up 64 cents year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $27.56, a 3-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 3.2 percent, or 85 cents.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations dropped significantly to 5 percent, compared with 6.8 percent in January 2018. However, the rate increased 4.4 percent in December. Overall unemployment increased 0.1 percentage points to 4 percent. The number of long-term unemployed was mostly unchanged at 1.3 million, accounting for 19.3 percent of the unemployed.

Concert lineup for MATS announced

With less than two months until the Mid-America Trucking Show, Mobil Delvac’s annual concert at the event on March 29 will feature Michael Ray and Runaway June.

Ray was the winner of “The Next: Fame is at Your Doorstep,”  which aired on The CW in 2012. He was mentored by John Rich of Big and Rich in the competition. He recently released his third album, “Amos.”

According to the MATS website, Ray loves a good story, so it’s only natural that when it came time to tell his own, he gravitated to country music.

“I feel like in music in general, but especially in country music, the story lines have always been the foundation,” he said. “No matter what changes may happen with the sound, I feel like when you listen to a song, no matter what walk of life you come from, you can really lose yourself in that song and put your own story to it.”

With their debut single, “Lipstick,” Runaway June became the first all-female trio in over a decade to score a Top 25 hit, according to the MATS website. The group was nominated for 2018 ACM for New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year. The also recently released a self-titled album featuring the single “Buy My Own Drinks.”

The annual truck show will be March 28-30 at the Kentucky Exposition Center. MATS offers more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space and more than 1,000 exhibitors. Each year, the show features seminars on the trucking industry, as well as performances by several country music artists.

Free early-bird registration continues until Feb. 28. After the deadline you can register either online for onsite, but it will cost you $10.

MATS announced on its Facebook page in December that Peterbilt, Kenworth and Cummins have signed on to be exhibitors at the 2019 show.

OOIDA can help keep you compliant on drug, alcohol testing

DOT drug and alcohol testing is the law for commercial drivers – even for owner-operators. The problem is how do you select yourself for a random drug test?

CMCI, a wholly owned subsidiary of OOIDA, was established to help eliminate the hassle and confusion of mandatory drug and alcohol testing. It is a simple program available for $125 to $150 for members depending on the services you need. That is far less expensive than any other consortium available to truckers.

Among the program’s benefits are random drug and alcohol testing, educational requirements, semiannual summaries and complete recordkeeping.

All random drug and alcohol tests are covered by your consortium enrollment fee. Three reasonable suspicion tests (if you have a driver working for you and suspect them of drug or alcohol use) are included at no charge, as well. Post-accident, pre-employment, return-to-duty or follow-up drug screens also are available for only $65 per test.

More information about the program is available by calling 800-288-3784.

OOIDA's Compliance Connection helps owner-operators manage paperwork

No matter the size, managing a fleet of trucks and drivers can be burdensome. Keeping tabs on which truck and which driver is compliant can be difficult and easy to forget.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s Compliance Connection program is designed to relieve much of that burden.

Compliance Connection helps members comply with driver qualification files, equipment maintenance files, drug and alcohol files, and an accident register. With friendly reminders when due dates are coming up, think of Compliance Connection as a digital personal assistant.

One feature includes storing driver qualification files. Compliance Connection will make sure that driver forms are filled out completely and correctly.

It can be easy to forget the expiration dates of certifications and other necessary documents. Compliance Connection will track expiration dates on medical certificates, motor vehicle reports and CDLs. When that date approaches, the program will send the account holder a notice.

Paperwork is organized, allowing auditors quick and easy access to review during a new entrant safety audit.

Some state auditors may not accept the program to submit forms. Some auditors require paperwork to be submitted directly to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or by some other preferred method. Members should check with their state auditor before using Compliance Connection for that purpose.

The program also works for vehicles by retaining equipment maintenance files. Members can enter all equipment repairs and maintenance as required by FMCSA into the program for their records. Periodic maintenance can be scheduled and tracked. As certain maintenance items come up, the program will send a reminder.

Compliance Connection will house annual inspection certificates, roadside inspection reports and Driver-Vehicle Inspection Reports. As an added bonus, the program can keep track of costs and cost per mile based on the information inputted by the user.

Compliance Connection offers more help than that.

Members of the program also can store copies of leases, contracts, permits, training certifications and pretty much any other document needed for safe keeping. Regardless of which drug consortium the member uses, drug testing information can also be stored in the system.

Compliance Connection is a user-friendly online system and available to members 24/7 on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

Compliance Connection has a new feature for carrier permits and equipment licensing. The feature:

  • Keeps track of IFTA license, UCR, NYHUT, KYU, New Mexico weight distance and Oregon weight distance permits.
  • Emails reminders prior to the permits’ expiration date.
  • Keeps Form 2290 as well as MCS 150 and sends a reminder when a carrier must update MCS 150.
  • Sends notifications when the equipment registration is about to expire.

Pricing varies depending on the size of the fleet. Typically, one truck, one trailer and one driver will be $30 per month plus a one-time $85 set-up fee. Additional fees may apply, so call in for pricing information. 

For more information, call 816-229-5791 and ask for Compliance Connection or email occ@ooida.com.

Make your voice heard in D.C.

The trucking industry today faces an ever increasing number of regulations and mandates. That is why it is essential that the experiences, views, and voices of professional truck drivers and small business owners who truly represent the trucking industry are heard.

To that end, the OOIDA Foundation offers brief instruction on how to submit comments online to the variety of notices, information collection requests, and final rules that are published in the Federal Register.

OOIDA offers a webpage with brief, easy to follow instructions. That is followed by a short list of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration docket items that are coming up that address trucking issues. There is a link for commenting and also to get information from the government.

Make your voice heard. It makes a difference. OOIDA needs your help in its fight for the rights of all truckers.

OOIDA’s Truck to Success class paves the way to become an owner-operator

OOIDA’s Truck to Success class is designed to help those who have considered becoming an owner-operator but aren’t sure where to start.

Truck to Success is scheduled for March 12-14 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Blue Springs, Mo. The class features true trucking experts who have worked and do work for the largest trucking association dedicated to helping drivers in all areas be successful. The training consists of expert trainers and interaction among participants. Some homework is required for full participation.

Truck to Success business education training class is a 2½-day intensive training course. The curriculum is designed to follow a logical transition from a company driver to an independent contractor. Topics include:

  • Developing a business plan that works for you.
  • Buying a new or used truck.
  • Equipment financing.
  • Insurance.
  • Pros and cons of running under your own authority or leasing on to a carrier.
  • New entrant safety audits and compliance reviews.
  • Drug and alcohol testing requirements.
  • Permits and licensing.
  • Taxes and business structures.
  • Brokers and factoring.
  • Current issues affecting the industry.

Registration for OOIDA’s Truck to Success class is open to anyone – you do not have to be a member of OOIDA to participate in the classes.

Tuition for the class is $495 per person. That includes breakfast, lunch and snacks. Lodging is not included. However, participants can book a room at the Courtyard by Marriott and receive OOIDA’s corporate rate. Participants who register before Feb. 1 will receive a year’s membership for free.

To register, visit OOOIDAOnlineEducation.com.

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