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GAO: Federal agencies should take additional steps to prepare for potential workforce effects of self-driving trucks

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Based on interviews with technology developers, the GAO identified technologies of self-driving trucks that could impact the workforce including light detection and ranging sensors, GPS, cameras, accelerometers and gyroscopes, and radar. (Courtesy: DAMILER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

WASHINGTON — Even though deployment of automated heavy-duty trucks, including self-driving trucks, being developed for long-haul trucking operations is likely years or a decade away, the General Accounting Office Thursday urged federal agencies to take additional steps to prepare for potential workforce effects

“Most technology developers said they were developing trucks that can travel without drivers for part of a route, and some stakeholders said such trucks may become available within five to 10 years,” the GAO said in a report on a study it had conducted. “Various technologies, including sensors and cameras, could help guide a truck capable of driving itself. However, the adoption of this technology depends on factors such as technological limitations and public acceptance.”

The GAO said it conducted the study because automated vehicle technology may eventually make commercial trucking more efficient and safer, but also has the potential to change the employment landscape for nearly 1.9 million heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, among others.

The GAO said it was asked to examine the potential workforce effects of automated trucking, but didn’t say who requested it.

The report noted that the U.S. Department of Transportation had been consulting with the Department of Labor to conduct a Congressionally-directed analysis of the workforce impacts of automated trucking by March 2019.

The GAO said stakeholders it interviewed predicted two main scenarios for how the adoption of automated trucks could affect the trucking workforce, which varied depending on the future role of drivers or operators.

“Technology developers, among others, described one scenario in which self-driving trucks are used on highway portions of long-haul trips,” the study report said. “Stakeholders noted this scenario would likely reduce the number of long-haul truck drivers needed and could decrease wages because of lower demand for such drivers. In contrast, groups representing truck drivers, among others, predicted a scenario in which a truck would have an operator at all times for complex driving and other non-driving tasks, and the number of drivers or operators would not change as significantly.”

However, the study found that those stakeholders lacked consensus on the potential effect this scenario might have on wages and driver retention, adding that most stakeholders said automated trucking could create new jobs, and that any workforce effects would take time — providing an opportunity for a federal response, such as any needed policy changes.

For the study, GAO interviewed officials from DOT and DOL, as well as a range of stakeholders, including technology developers, companies operating their own trucking fleets, truck driver training schools, truck driver associations and workforce development boards.

As a result of the study, GAO made four recommendations for executive action:

  1. The Secretary of Labor should collaborate with the Secretary of Transportation to continue to convene key groups of stakeholders to gather information on potential workforce changes that may result from automated trucking as the technology evolves, including analyzing needed skills and identifying any information or data gaps, to allow the agencies to fully consider how to respond to any changes. These stakeholders could include, for example, representatives of other relevant federal agencies, technology developers, the trucking industry, organizations that represent truck drivers, truck driver training schools, state workforce agencies, and local workforce development boards.
  2. The Secretary of Transportation should collaborate with the Secretary of Labor to continue to convene key groups of stakeholders to gather information on potential workforce changes that may result from automated trucking as the technology evolves, including analyzing needed skills and identifying any information or data gaps, to allow the agencies to fully consider how to respond to any changes.
  3. The Secretary of Transportation should consult with the Secretary of Labor to further analyze the potential effects of automated trucking technology on drivers to inform potential workforce-related regulatory changes, such as the requirements to obtain a commercial driver’s license or Hours of Service requirements (e.g., the maximum hours commercial truck drivers are permitted to work).

4. The Secretary of Labor should consult with the Secretary of Transportation to share information with key stakeholders on the potential effects of automated trucking on the workforce as the technology evolves. These stakeholders could include, for example, representatives of other relevant federal agencies, technology developers, the trucking industry, organizations that represent truck drivers, truck driver training schools, state workforce agencies, and local workforce development boards.

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Decker Truck Line presents 2,500th Peterbilt to 2018 Grand Champion Driver of the Year

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DENTON, Texas — Peterbilt Motors Co., along with Decker Truck Line, celebrated a relationship spanning six decades with the delivery of the transportation company’s 2,500th Peterbilt truck purchased from JX Truck Center.

Decker runs a mix of Peterbilt vehicles, including the Model 579 UltraLoft, for both its refrigerated and flatbed operations. The company also runs Peterbilt’s Model 389 which is awarded to Decker’s most senior drivers.

“Decker purchased its first Peterbilt truck more than 50 years ago starting a relationship that has continued to grow stronger through many decades of doing business together,” said Robert Woodall, Peterbilt’s assistant general manager for sales and marketing. “I am proud of the relationship Peterbilt has with Decker and I congratulate them on a long history of industry leadership.”

“Over the years of purchasing Peterbilt trucks, I have enjoyed working with numerous Peterbilt general managers, sales executives, the JX Truck Center management team and various levels of support staff,” said Don Decker, president and chairman of the Board, Decker Truck Line, Inc. “The partnership has been one of the most meaningful and rewarding relationships I have experienced. I think it speaks for itself how impressed we are with Peterbilt and JX as we take delivery of our 2,500th Peterbilt from JX Truck Center.”

The 2,500th truck, a custom 2019 Peterbilt Model 389, will be awarded to Decker’s 2018 Grand Champion Driver of the Year Steve Alliger. Since joining Decker in 1997, Alliger has accumulated more than 3 million miles of safe driving, and in 2018 alone he made more than 160 deliveries covering more than 150,000 miles.

“Out of all our professional drivers, Steve was chosen to receive our 2,500th Peterbilt because he is dedicated to getting the job done right the first time and every time. Steve was chosen as our Grand Champion Professional Driver of the Year in 2018 because of his impeccable driving record,” Decker said. “He has driven more than 3.3 million safe miles, has nearly a perfect Driver Scorecard, no CSA violations or service failures and has been recognized for the dedication and pride he puts into his profession every day. Steve is just one of  those Drivers who is a shining example of a true “professional driver and we are very proud to have him represent Decker Truck Line and the trucking industry.”

 

 

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New Alliance Parts products, retail locations creates one-stop solution

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Alliance Parts has also recently opened 13 new stand-alone retail stores in North America, in locations including Hartford, Conn., and St. Cloud, Minn., and has also expanded retail areas at 22 different dealerships. (Courtesy: DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

PORTLAND, Ore. — With the recent addition of new retail locations and more value-based parts to its portfolio, Alliance Parts is fulfilling Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA)’s vision of a one-stop solution, providing exceptional customer experiences and parts to customers when and where they need them.

The growing parts portfolio, increasing retail footprint, and ability to deliver parts in 24 hours or less will benefit customer uptime.

Alliance Parts has added more than 11 new value product lines to its portfolio. The addition of the new parts – which includes items ranging from diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) filters and air brake compressors to slack adjustors – broadens an already expansive portfolio of products available at dealerships, as well as stand-alone Alliance Parts retail locations.

Alliance Parts has also recently opened 13 new stand-alone retail stores in North America, in locations including Hartford, Conn., and St. Cloud, Minn., and has also expanded retail areas at 22 different dealerships.

“We set aggressive goals to expand our retail footprint and value-based product offerings to meet our long-term objective of creating superior experiences that will help our customers get back on the road,” said Brad Williamson, director, Alliance Parts and Detroit Reman Marketing & Sales. “We’re proud of the strides we’ve already made with our new products and retail locations, and we’re continuing our push to be the customers’ first choice for value parts.”

Go to www.AllianceParts.com for a complete list of Alliance Parts locations and available products.

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Papé Kenworth Northwest opens 6,600 square-foot parts and service facility

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The new Papé Kenworth Northwest location features a 3,200 square-foot service department with three service bays, well-stocked parts department, and comfortable driver’s lounge. (Courtesy: KENWORTH TRUCK CO.)

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Papé Kenworth Northwest has opened a new 6,600 square-foot parts and service facility in Bellingham, Washington.

Located 90 miles north of Seattle and 25 miles south of the Canadian border, the new Papé Kenworth Northwest-Bellingham dealership provides service and parts to customers traveling along the busy north-south Interstate 5 corridor.

The new location features a 3,200 square-foot service department with three service bays, well-stocked parts department, and comfortable driver’s lounge that drivers can enjoy while their trucks are serviced. The facility sits on more than 1.5 acres for convenient parking.

Papé Kenworth Northwest-Bellingham is at 1400 Iowa Street in Bellingham and offers easy I-5 access at Exit 254. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 360-526-2850.

Papé Kenworth Northwest operates six dealerships in Washington (Aberdeen, Bellingham, Lakewood, Marysville, SeaTac and Yakima). Papé Kenworth Alaska operates two dealerships in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Papé Kenworth operates eight dealerships in Oregon – Donald, Eugene, Klamath Falls, Medford, Portland, Redmond, Roseburg and Tangent; five in central California  –  Bakersfield, Fresno, Santa Maria, Stockton and Turlock; and one in Washington – Kelso.

Papé Kenworth Northwest, Papé Kenworth Alaska and Papé Kenworth are part of The Papé family of Companies. For more information, visit www.papekenworth.com

 

 

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