Hey everyone! It’s time for your Wednesday Daily Trucker News Update!
We have a lot of news to cover today, including:
- The passing of a Texas Bill
- The Use of CBD for Truckers
- The top Ten States with Rude Truckers
So, let’s get trucking!
Britnee: According to ACT Research, the data on Driver Availability has tightened for the fourth year in a row. The Driver Availability Index for February was 23.6 given March being down 16.7. March dipped due the recovery was only beginning and February only rose slightly because of winter storms. In coming months driver availability will continue to see downward pressure due to capacity, demographics and unemployment benefits, the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse. Another hurdle to the rebound will be limited Class 8 production and tight vehicle inventories – both are likely to limit the pace of recovery this year.
Carlin: The state of Texas has passed a bill that would make it harder to successfully sue commercial trucking companies is now moving forward after a series of postponements on the House floor. According to Plano Republican, Jeff Leach, the legislation would create a fair supporting structure that ensures victims in collisions involving commercial vehicles now can have their day in court, while also protecting commercial motor vehicle operators from excessive lawsuits. Leach believes that with the passage of this bill we will see commercial vehicle insurance rates fall in the state of Texas. The “Keep Texas Trucking Coalition” praised the legislation for promoting business across the state. More than 550 businesses have supported the written bill.
Britnee: Here’s a very Hot Topic. “Cannabidiol” or CBD. For the past few years, marketers of CBD products have promised to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and reduce daily joint pain. But many truck drivers worry that if they use CBD products could their commercial license be put at risk? In 2020, the U.S. DOT indicated that the use of CBD is “safety-sensitive” for employees who are in the transportation industry, such as pilots, train engineers, and truck drivers. DOT also reminded those workers that it is not acceptable for employees who are subject to drug testing regulations to consume marijuana. Since the use of CBD products can lead to a positive drug test result those employees should also be cautious when considering the use of CBD products. CBD laws do vary from state to state and it is recommended to check with your state on the specifics of CBD use.
Carlin: Peter Albanese a trucker out of Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to wire fraud, Social Security fraud, and making false statements, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General. According to the indictment Albanese collected more than $80,000 in S.S. disability benefits while not disclosing his work income as a truck driver. He also used a false Medical Examiner’s Certificate during a roadside inspection to hide the fact that he was not certified as required by FMCSA regulations. The investigation is still on-going with assistance from the FMCSA.
Britnee: Navistar is recalling certain LT and RH Class 8 trucks on the following years 2018-2020 for the second time due to a connector rod defect. The truck maker recalled 4,972 trucks in the U.S. and in Canada. Three on-road engine failures have been identified and were related to bushing material in the small end bore, or the wrist pin of the connecting rod. The connecting rod may develop cracks over time or lose chunks of bushing material. In some cases, connecting rod failure can result in engine shut down causing the driver to pull the truck to the side of the road. But a stalled vehicle in or near the road can increase the risk of a vehicle crash. No crashes or injuries have been reported but Navistar expects to alert customers and international dealers to the new recall around July 8th. The NHTSA recall number is 21V-281.
Carlin: Rude Truckers? Didn’t know there was such a thing. But according to Insurify, an insurance comparison site, used data from more than 4 million car insurance applications to compile a list of the top ten states with the rudest driving behavior. 8 of the 10 states that ranked in 2020 kept their position in 2021. And believe it not but Virginia held the top spot for the second year in a row. With 43 infractions out of 1,000, Virginia was 41% higher than the national average. The most, polite state was Kentucky. 8 out of the top 10 indicated the most common rude violation is failure to stop at a stop sign. So like I mentioned before Virginia is at the top of the list, followed by Delaware, Idaho, Georgia, Wyoming, Ohio, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, and lastly Alaska placing #10.
That does it for today’s update!
Tune in tomorrow for all the trucking news you need!