Hey everyone! It’s time for your Tuesday Daily Trucker News Update!

We have a lot of news to cover today, including:

  • The Roadcheck is behind us, but Safe Driver week is coming…
  • The Department of Labor withdraws the Independent Contractor Rule…
  • and free lunch for truck drivers? You heard right!

So, let’s get trucking!

Britnee: Now that we have the CVSA Roadcheck behind us, it’s time to look ahead at the next trucker blitz because its right around the corner!

The CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week 2021 will be July 11th through 17th and this year the emphasis will be on speeding.

Officers will issue warnings or citations to violators or other dangerous driving behaviors including: reckless or aggressive driving, distracted driving, following too closely, improper lane change, failure to obey traffic control devices, failure to use a seat belt, and evidence of drunk or drugged driving.

The CVSA selected speeding this year despite the fact the pandemic reduced overall roadway travel.

Last year, the CVSA issued commercial drivers just under 11 thousand warnings and just over 3,000 out-of-service violations during Operation Safe Driver Week 2020.

Carlin: Well the Department of Labor has withdrawn the Independent Contractor Rule that was put in place days before Donald Trump left the Presidency.

The Jan. 7 Independent Contractor rule aimed to define the difference between an employee and an independent contractor.

The DOL originally stated that the rule promoted certainty for stakeholders, including the trucking industry, as well as in an effort to reduce litigation and “encourage innovation in the economy.”

Now the DOL says the withdrawal of the Independent Contractor rule would maintain workers’ rights to minimum wage and overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The DOL cited other reasons for the withdrawal stating “The rule would have narrowed the facts and considerations comprising the analysis of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, resulting in workers losing FLSA protections.”

Since the Rule was never implemented, its withdrawal won’t have a huge impact on the trucking industry.

There are many mixed opinions on this, and some are pointing to California’s controversial Assembly Bill 5 as an example of issues that could arise.

Britnee: Well, we are on a bit of a roller coaster when it comes to trucking employment lately.

Trucking employment was down in April but is up since the beginning of the year.

Trucking employment fell by 15-hundred jobs after gaining more than 3,000 in March.

Revised data from February shows a job loss of 18-hundred and was the month that broke the nine-month streak of job increases.

Trucking employment is up more than 1,000 jobs since the end of 2020, and compared to April 2020 there was a decrease of 93,000 jobs due to the pandemic.
Those pandemic stay-at-home orders that caused businesses to shut down, erased more than 5 years of trucking employment growth.

Carlin: Well we have been talking about it… the impending gas shortage, and it has more to do with there not being enough truck drivers than diesel.

And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is as you may have seen the eye-catching headline earlier this month that one Fort Worth, Texas trucking company was offering to pay experienced drivers $14,000 per week or $728 thousand per year. But there’s a catch, you have to supply the truck and the trailer. The company does not actually hire drivers as employees instead it contracts with independent owner-operators.

Sisu Energy states “our frac (pronounced frack) sand haulers can make $14k a week depending on how many loads they run. We don’t pay them that amount outright.”

The shortage of truck drivers is nothing new. It’s estimated that an additional 60 thousand plus truck drivers are needed immediately.

And the trucking industry forecasts the need for around 1.1 million new truck drivers over the next 10 years.

Britnee: A Georgia convivence store is offering free lunch to all truck drivers throughout 2021.

On the first Friday of every month for the rest of the year, truckers can pick up a free boxed lunch between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Enmarket’s The Eatery at their Pine Barren Road location.

A Savannah-based trucking firm, Veteran Carriers, launched a program to provide free lunches to drivers as a way to show its appreciation for the trucking industry.

The “Feed a Trucker” program is a partnership between Veteran Carriers and Enmarket Convenience Stores and will be located on Pine Barren Road and Highway 80.

This is a high-volume area of big rigs going in and out of the Georgia Ports Authority.

Carin: A former truck driver is biking his way across the country to raise awareness about truck driver health.

Wayne Cragg from South Haven, Mich., decided to hit the road for a 2,000 mile trek to Seattle to raise awareness and remind truck drivers about the importance of maintaining their health.

Cragg started in South Haven two weeks ago, and says when the pandemic hit, he was driving a lot, eating unhealthy and not taking care of himself.

He does have some help though; a friend is joining him for the second half of his ride. He plans to make it to Seattle by the end of July.

That does it for today’s update!

Tune in tomorrow for all the trucking news you need!

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