Trucking Biz Buzz

Daimler Trucks recalls thousands of Freightliner Cascadias over airbag issue

Daimler Trucks North America is recalling certain Freightliner Cascadia trucks for an issue dealing with driver’s side airbags, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

More specifically, nearly 3,000 Freightliner Cascadia trucks model year 2017-19 are being recalled. Driver’s frontal airbag in affected trucks may deploy unexpectedly. If the driver’s frontal airbag deploys unexpectedly, it can increase the risk of a crash.

Owners of affected trucks will be notified by DTNA. Dealers will modify the wiring leading to the steering wheel clockspring to ensure that it is properly grounded. Recalls are slated to begin Jan. 9, 2019. For questions, call DTNA’s customer service at 800-547-0712 with DTNA recall number FL800. NHTSA’s recall number for this defect is 18V-787.

Time is now to apply for 2019 OOIDA scholarship

Every year since the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Program started in 1998, descendants of truck drivers have received funds to go toward the pursuit of higher education.

During its two decades of existence, the program has contributed $315,000 to 100 awardees, who are the children, grandchildren and legal dependents of OOIDA members.

Applications and all required materials for the 2019 OOIDA scholarships must be postmarked no later than Feb. 1.

Each year, one $2,000 scholarship and four $1,000 scholarships are awarded. An alternate is also named each year. The funds are transferred directly to the student’s selected institution and can be renewed for a total of four years.

The funds can be used for tuition or any legitimate school-related expenses.

Go online for PDF versions of the cover letter and application for the 2019 OOIDA scholarships. Each student must submit an application, a 500-word essay on the topic indicated on the application, and a transcript from high school or from an institution of higher learning.

Information about the scholarship fund and application process is also available on the OOIDA tour truck, the Spirit of the American Trucker.

The recipients are selected in a blind evaluation conducted by the OOIDA Scholarship Advisory Committee.

Winners of the 2019 OOIDA scholarships will be notified by a letter after OOIDA’s spring board meeting. OOIDA will verify enrollment and deposit the funds directly into the student’s account at the college or technical school of his or her choice. Funds will be available in the first week of August for each year.

You can learn more about the scholarship program here.

More than $2,100 donated to Vietnam memorial in honor of late OOIDA board member

In memory of OOIDA Board Member and U.S. Army veteran Steve Davenport, more than $2,100 will be donated to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

Davenport, 70, of Lewisville, Texas, died unexpectedly of natural causes on Nov. 8, 2018. He was a member of OOIDA’s Board of Directors since 2011 and was a staunch advocate for military veterans.

The Association raised $1,069 during last week’s fall board meetings in Grain Valley, Mo., to be donated to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund in Davenport’s honor. Run for the Wall’s Missouri chapter agreed to match that amount, bringing the total to $2,138.

Davenport was well known in the trucking and veteran communities. He drove more than 33 years as a company driver and more than 15 as an owner-operator.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1969-71 and in the Army Reserves from 1971-75. After his service was complete, he became an active participant with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

For more than three decades, starting in the 1980s, Davenport made the annual Memorial Day pilgrimage to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. He rode a customized 1990 Harley Davidson Softail in honor of high-school friend Robert Cupp, who was killed in 1968 in Vietnam.

In 2016, Davenport pulled the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica to the Mid-America Trucking Show. Davenport was dedicated to educating people on the sacrifices made by fallen soldiers and their families.

“Freedom isn’t free,” Davenport said at the time. “The cost was more than 58,000 purple hearts.”

September NAFTA freight marks largest month-to-month decrease since December 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in September trucks moved more than 62 percent of NAFTA freight – with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. All five modes experienced an increase in freight year-to-year for the fifth consecutive month.

However, the value of freight hauled across the borders decreased by nearly 5 percent compared with August, when freight increased by nearly 6 percent from the previous month. This is the largest month-to-month decrease since December 2017, when NAFTA freight dropped by more than 7 percent. Compared to September 2017, freight was up nearly 8 percent. This marks the 23rd 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 September so far.

Trucks carried nearly $63 billion of the nearly $102 billion of imports and exports in September.

Year-to-year, Canada truck freight increased by 5.1 percent and Mexico freight rose by 10.4 percent. Top truck commodities were computers and parts, electrical machinery, motor vehicles and parts, plastics and measuring/testing instruments.

Freight totaled $101.63 billion, down more than $5 billion from the previous month but an increase of more than $7 billion from September 2017.

Vessel freight accounted for the largest increase at 34.2 percent after an increase of 59.7 percent in August. Trucks accounted for an increase of 4.2 percent, the smallest increase among the different modes. Truck freight experienced increases of 5.7 percent in August and 11.2 percent in July.

Approximately 56 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 16.3 percent. Of the $50.6 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried 68.4 percent of the loads.

Truckers for Troops 2018 nets over $38,500

The 2018 edition of OOIDA’s Truckers for Troops saw truckers come together and generate $38,536 to support U.S. military personnel at home and abroad.

Funds were raised during a week-long campaign.

More than 2,500 members participated in the event, which ran from Nov. 5 through Nov. 9. Members of the U.S. Army won the branch of service challenge.

OOIDA matches 10 percent to fund care packages for troops overseas and to provide needed supplies to long-term care facilities treating wounded veterans.

For over a 12 years now, OOIDA’s Truckers for Troops has, through the generosity of its members and with a matching contribution by the Association, raised more than $500,000 for care packages and other supplies to help U.S. military personnel.

Veterans are a huge part of the trucking industry overall, and more than one-third of all OOIDA members have served in the military.

Once again, Shell Rotella kicked off this year’s fundraiser with a contribution of $2,000.

To date, the Association has sent more than 3,000 large care packages and provided items to nearly 36,000 military personnel stationed in war zones. All the purchasing, organizing and packing of the boxes is handled by OOIDA staff volunteers, ensuring that 100 percent of the money raised is used to purchase items and cover shipping.

In 2015, the Association expanded the program’s mission to include supplying needed items to various medical care facilities for wounded or needy veterans back in the states.

OOIDA is also asking for the names and addresses of troops serving in active combat zones or veteran facilities with unmet needs to add to the Association’s list of recipients. Call the name and address in to Nikki Johnson at OOIDA at 816-229-5791. You can also email her at Troops@OOIDA.com. Be sure to include an address and a projected stateside return date for individuals.

Those combat zones include Afghanistan, the Kosovo area of Yugoslavia, and the Arabian Peninsula areas, which include the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, part of the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

2019 UCR still under delay

The start of the 2019 Unified Carrier Registration period remains delayed until further notice while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration completes its rulemaking process on fee levels for 2019.

In August, FMCSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking with the intent of reducing UCR fees. The delay was announced in October.

According to the notice, the proposed fees for the 2019 registration year would be nearly 18 percent lower than the 2017 level. The reason for the reduction is to ensure fee revenues don’t exceed the statutory maximum. Fees in 2020 would be roughly 9.5 percent below 2017 levels.

FMCSA proposes fees for 2019 to be $63 for motor carriers and brokers with zero to two power units. That represents a $6 decrease from the 2018 fee. It is however, $10 less than what the UCR board had anticipated needing to charge for 2019 fees for the smallest of motor carriers.

“FMCSA proposes reductions in the annual registration fees states collect from motor carriers, motor private carriers of property, brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies for the UCR plan and agreement for the 2019, 2020 and subsequent registration years,” the notice stated.

“The reduction in fees for subsequent registration years would range from approximately $4 to $3,565 per entity.”

Proposed fees for 2019
0-2 trucks..............................$63
3-5 trucks............................$187
6-20 trucks..........................$372
21-100 trucks...................$1,299
101-1,000 trucks..............$6,190
1,001 trucks and more...$60,441

Total revenue from the current UCR plan for 2018 are estimated to exceed the statutory maximum by more than $9 million. Collection of UCR 2019 fees was scheduled to begin Oct. 1.

Collection of 2018 UCR fees also was delayed until after the start of the new year, as the UCR board grappled with a fee reduction.

Women In Trucking names Eliacostas ‘influential’ woman in trucking

Angela Eliacostas, founder and CEO of AGT Global Logistics, has won the Women In Trucking Association’s eighth annual Influential Woman In Trucking Award.

The award recognizes women in the trucking industry who make or influence key decisions, have a proven record of responsibility, and mentor and serve as a role model to other women. It was developed in 2010 as a way to honor female leaders in trucking, and to attract and advance women within the industry.

The winner was announced Tuesday, Nov. 13, during a panel discussion at the WIT Accelerate! Conference and Expo in Dallas. The award is sponsored by Freightliner Trucks.

Eliacostas’ career in transportation spans more than 30 years.

In 2005, she formed All Girls Transportation and Logistics Inc. As offerings and services grew, a name change was required to fit their expansion and AGT Global Logistics was born. The company, headquartered in Glen Ellyn, Ill., provides a broad range of third-party logistics services.

Finalists for the 2018 award also included Nozuko Mayeza, managing director of Tulsawiz Logistics, Johannesburg, South Africa, and Brooke Willey, vice president – human resources for CRST International, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Women In Trucking Association Inc. is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. Membership is not limited to women, as 17 percent of its members are men who support the mission.

Thousands of Freightliner Cascadias recalled for malfunctioning brake light

Daimler Trucks North America is recalling certain Freightliner Cascadia trucks because of a brake light issue, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

More specifically, more than 6,000 model year 2017-18 Freightliner Cascadia trucks are affected by the recall. Affected trucks may have brake lights that remain activated after the brake pedal is released. Confusion among drivers of trailing vehicles may increase the likelihood of a crash.

Remedies for the defect are still being developed. However, the recall is expected to begin Dec. 17. Owners of affected vehicles will be contacted by DTNA. For questions, call DTNA’s customer service at 800-547-0712 with recall number FL-799. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-742.

OOIDA offers Truck to Success business class March 12-14

If you have you have considered becoming an owner-operator but aren’t sure where to start, a class offered by OOIDA may help.

Truck to Success, OOIDA’s business education training, is a 2½-day intensive training for those ready to take their first steps toward becoming an owner-operator.

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.

The training is designed to follow a logical path of information on the 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 is open to anyone – you do not have to be a member of OOIDA to participate in the classes. The cost is $495 per person and 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.

Band Together campaign raises nearly $250k for trucking charity

The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund’s annual Band Together campaign generated nearly $250,000, according to a news release from TravelCenters of America.

Running from Aug. 15 through Sept. 30 at TA & Petro Stopping Centers nationwide, the Band Together campaign, along with raffles and other fundraisers throughout the year, received donations for the trucking charity totaling $244,849.80. The campaign provided wristbands, window clings and keychains to donors in exchange for contributions of $1 and $5.

The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity that helps truck drivers and their families when an illness or injury has caused them to be out of work.

“We are always honored to have the opportunity to help drivers in need,” Barry Richards, president of TravelCenters, said in a news release. “We know full well it’s the patronage of our customers and employees, year over year, that assist these efforts. We couldn’t be more proud and thankful to them for their ongoing support.”

As of July 2018, the trucking charity has helped more than 2,300 truck drivers and their families with monthly bills, including utilities and mortgages totaling $2.3 million. TravelCenters has been a supporter of the St. Christopher fund since 2010.

“I want to give thanks to TravelCenters for another year of Band Together,” said Donna Kennedy, executive director of the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund. “This campaign is such a great example of how easy it is for people to help people. We always love to see the generosity of drivers and employees.”

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