Hey everyone! It’s time for your Wednesday Daily Trucker News Update!
We have a lot of news to cover today, including:
- Which controversial bill has been reintroduced in Congress
- Which autonomous truck maker is going public
- And find out the 3 finalist of Women in Trucking’s Driver of the Year award.
So, let’s get trucking!
Carlin: A bill that would tie the minimum amount of liability insurance truckers have to pay to medical inflation has been reintroduced in the U.S. House. The bill, called the Improving National Safety by Updating Required Amount of Insurance Needed by Commercial Motor Vehicles per Event or (Insurance) Act, was first introduced in 2019, but didn’t make it past the House Transportation Committee. The bill is expected to have similar language to the 2019 version, which called for minimum insurance levels to be raised from 750,000 dollars – to meet medical inflation costs. It would also require the DOT to adjust the minimum every 5 years.
Isela: The American Trucking Associations Technology & Maintenance Council task force is looking to develop best practices to help address cab corrosion, and they need help from you drivers! The task force hopes that by getting suggestions from the drivers, it can develop solutions to help prevent moisture or chloride getting into the cab area – which can wreck several different part of the truck… Mounts could weaken, wire connections could short and become damaged, seat belts retractors could not work, the corrosion could even lead to exhaust fumes leaking in. This isn’t the first time the task force has asked for volunteers, but the hope is now that more awareness has been raised – it will be easier to get volunteers.
Carlin: With several automakers looking to manufacturer more electric vehicles, the government is offering funding to help get the ball rolling for big rigs. The Department of Energy announced two funding opportunities, totaling more than 162 million dollars, as part of the SuperTruck Initiative – the effort to make rigs more efficient and reduce their carbon emissions. The money can also be used to expand EV infrastructure and lower emissions for on and off the road vehicles. The Department is offering up to 100-million dollars over four years to pioneer electrified medium and heavy-duty rides and freight systems. The remaining money will be available for research and implementation of creating the EV infrastructure. The application process with have two parts, a concept paper and a full application.
Isela: Autonomous Truck startup TuSimple is looking to go public – and it’s first initial offering is just over one billion dollars. It is the first autonomous software developer to do so. Right now, the company operates 50 quote, “High autonomy” level 4 trucks in the Southwest – but it plans to focus more on providing software and support, allowing it to stop operating as a trucking company. The company has major investors, such as United Parcel Service, Schneider National, Werner Enterprises, U.S. Express, Goodyear, and Nvidia. And the company plans to launch a purpose-built Level 4 heavy duty truck with Navistar International in 2024
Carlin: Trucking may have had a bright light shown on it thanks to the pandemic – but that isn’t translating into more people breaking into the industry. In fact, while truck driver jobs rose by more than 3-hundred thousand in 2020 – there were only about 70-thousand drivers looking for jobs… Experts say many of those skilled drivers looking for jobs are opting to go with final mile delivery instead of over the road – for several reason, including:
- Fewer regulations and less difficulty getting started
- Ability to make their own schedule, control pay, and limit increasing costs like insurance
- And the ability to drive routes that are familiar
- And the ability to go home after a shift.
Isela: Women in Trucking have announced the 3 Driver of the Year finalist. They are:
- Carmen Anderson of America’s Service Line, LLC
- Ingrid Brown, of Rolling B LLC
- And Nikki Weaver with FedEx Freight.
The winner will be announced on April 27th – and they will walk away with a plaque and commemorative ring.
That does it for today’s update!
Tune in tomorrow for all the trucking news you need!
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