Hey everyone! It’s time for your Tuesday Daily Trucker News Update! I’m Isela Rios.
And I’m Carlin Stafford. We have a lot of news to cover today, including:
- What a truck manufacturer is doing to keep that assembly line moving;
- The latest out of California involving the controversial AB5; and
- Find out where and when the first Bandit Big Rig Series Racing event is happening this year.
So, let’s get trucking!
Carlin: The American Trucking Associations is teaming up with the American Property Casualty Insurance Agency and the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud to get legislation passed to combat towing fraud and staged accidents. According to ATA, a survey of motor carriers found more than 70% of drivers have had issues with towing companies, even those recommended by law enforcement — from ridiculous storage and access fees to high towing rates. Some have even had their trucks held hostage, and others have had issues getting their cargo back. The group is also working on battling staged crash rings — an issue they called “dangerous and pervasive.”
Isela: We’ve been covering the congested ports for a while now — and there’s no signs things will die down anytime soon. In fact, it’s now possible other ports that are being used while the major ones sort through the pileups may soon face a similar issue of their own. In fact, the South Carolina Ports turned in the highest cargo handling performance in history — with volumes more than 30% higher year over year. SCPA moved almost 250,000 twenty-foot equivalent units in March, smashing the previous record of 233,000. Right now, the port authority is expanding, and the new terminal will add almost two-and-half-million TEUs of capacity, which doubles the ports current capacity.
Carlin: We have reported on the Class 8 truck manufacturer shortage before — and the cause of it all — the semiconductor, or “chip,” shortage. Well, many manufactures are expecting downtime while they wait for those chips, halting production until supply catches back up, but others are simply putting the unfinished trucks in a secure parking lot with the intent of throwing them back on the assembly line when they have the chips. PACCAR is delaying deliveries of Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF Trucks — about 3,000 builds across all three brands — instead of halting production all together. Right now, it’s about six to nine weeks to get one chip for an auto manufacturer, and PACCAR is working with suppliers to match chips to the mostly finished rigs instead of trying to put them in higher-profit models.
Isela: It looks like another California court has ruled that the state’s Assembly Bill 5 DOES apply to motor carriers and owner-ops. The state’s Second District Court of Appeals ruled that the ABC test used by the bill is not preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Act of 1994 or the F4A. Trucking has been operating under an AB5 exemption since 2020, when it went into effect — as a lawsuit by the California Trucking Association against the bill is still happening and an injunction is in place. Right now, the CTA’s case against the bill is headed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which will either uphold or end the injunction.
Carlin: Operation Safe Driver Week is July 11-17, and this year the CVSA and law enforcement partners will be focusing on speeding. Officers will be on the lookout for unsafe drivers of all vehicles, big rigs and four-wheelers alike, and they will be pulled over and ticketed. Speeding is the focus this year because, despite less people on the roads in 2020, the number of deadly crashes on our nation’s highways increased by 24%. Also, it was the most common violation last year, with more than 5,500 warnings and citations issued. Officers will also be on the lookout for other dangerous driver behaviors, like reckless or aggressive driving, distracted driving, following too close, not using a seatbelt and driving under the influence.
Isela: You know, there’s one place you won’t get in trouble for going fast though — the raceway. That’s right, Bandit Big Rig Races are back! This year, the first race is happening at the Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, on Saturday, April 24. Tickets are $20; kids under 8 are free. Check out the Bandit Series Facebook page for more info.
That does it for today’s update.
Tune in tomorrow for all the trucking news you need.
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