Connect with us
Truckers Bookkeeping Service - Being Your Own Boss

The Nation

Trucking Alliance says greatest pressure on industry is reducing crashes

Published

on

Trucking alliance says greatest pressure on industry is reducing crashes
In 2017, the last reportable year, there were more than 415,000 large truck accidents in the U.S. in which 4,761 were killed, including more than 600 truck drivers and 148,000 were injured. (Associated Press: RHONDA SCHOLTING/West Metro Fire Rescue)

WASHINGTON — Although it didn’t have a seat at the witness table for Wednesday’s “Under Pressure: The State of Trucking in America” hearing before the House Highways and Transit, the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, better known as the Trucking Alliance, submitted comments touching several key areas of the trucking industry.

Among other things, the Alliance said:

  • There should be no greater pressure on the trucking industry than to reduce large truck crash fatalities and injuries because large truck crash fatalities can be eliminated.
  • No industry segment should be exempt from installing electronic logging devices.
  • Thousands of commercial truck drivers are illicit drug users.
  • Truck drivers should be 21 years old or older to operate commercial trucks in interstate commerce.
  • Large trucks should adhere to a reasonable maximum speed of 65 mph.
  • Collision mitigation systems should be required on new commercial trucks.

Steve Williams, chairman and CEO of Maverick USA in Little Rock, Arkansas, who is co-founder of the Trucking Alliance and serves as the coalition’s president, noted that 2017, the last reportable year, there were more than 415,000 large truck accidents in the U.S. in which 4,761 were killed, including more than 600 truck drivers and 148,000 were injured.

“These statistics should alarm every trucking company employer, whose drivers share the road with millions of motorists every day,” Williams said. “The trucking industry is indispensable to the US economy,” Williams recently said. “But the industry has too many accidents. More truck drivers lost their lives in 2017, than in any year in the previous 10 years. We must aggressively address these tragic figures.”

Williams believes a first step is to reverse the industry priorities. “Support progressive safety reforms that make sense for our country and citizens first, our industry second, and our companies third,” he said. “Yet several trucking-specific bills before the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee would propose the opposite – legislation to benefit companies first, the trucking industry second, and our country and citizens, third. This committee must adopt safety reforms to reduce large truck crashes and reject legislation that would appease special interests but sacrifice public safety in the process.”

Williams noted that ELDs play a major role in reducing truck crashes, yet rather than embrace ELDs for the safety benefits they will achieve, certain industry segments want an exemption from ELDs.

He said there are at least two bills before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that would allow thousands of truck drivers of agricultural goods to operate “off the grid” and without a reliable way to verify whether they are in compliance with on-duty regulations. These bills would compromise public safety.

Another bill would allow any motor carrier that operates 10 or fewer trucks to operate without an ELD.

According to data provided by the American Trucking Associations, over 90 percent of the nation’s motor carriers have 10 or fewer trucks.

In its comments, the Trucking Alliance also renewed its push for hair testing for substance abuse.

Williams said the Alliance recently submitted data to the Department of Transportation showing “compelling evidence” that thousands of habitual drug users are manipulating federal drug test protocols and obtaining jobs as commercial truck drivers.

He said the survey data compared the pre-employment drug test results of 151,662 truck driver applicants, who were asked to submit to two drug tests — a urinalysis and a hair analysis. Almost all applicants held an active commercial driver license. Williams said 94% of the truck driver applicants tested drug-free. However, thousands of applicants failed either or both drug tests.

“Alarmingly, the urinalysis, the only method recognized by USDOT, and relied on by almost all trucking company employers, actually failed to identify most drug abusers,” Williams said. “The urinalysis detected drugs in 949 applicants, about 1% of the population. However, 8.6%, or 8,878 truck driver applicants, either failed or refused the hair test. Put another way, the urinalysis missed nine out of 10 actual illicit drug users.”

The Trucking Alliance is probably the most prominent group that is lobbying against any efforts to allow drivers under 21 to operate in interstate commerce.

“Most states allow teenagers between the ages of 18-21 to operate commercial trucks within their state boundary,” Williams said. “While statistics are lacking, anecdotal evidence suggests these teenage truck drivers operate lighter weight, short trucks, such as delivery vans and straight or panel trucks. Few teenagers actually operate Class 8 tractor-trailer combinations within their state. These big rigs carry a laden weight of 80,000 pounds. These are the tractor trailers used in interstate commerce. Operating these tractor trailer combinations requires elevated skills, considerable experience, maturity and self-discipline.”

Williams said the Trucking Alliance supports a new federal safety standard that would require all large commercial trucks to maintain a maximum speed limit of 65 mph on the nation’s highways.

According to NHTSA, in 2017, speeding was one of the factors for almost 27% of motor vehicle crash deaths. The World Health Organization’s “Report on Road Safety” estimates that for every 1% increase in mean speed, there is a 4% increase in the fatal crash risk and a 3% increase in the serious crash risk. The top speed of large tractor trailer combinations should be limited.

The trucking industry has historically supported truck speed limiters.

As for safety systems, Williams said collision mitigation systems installed in commercial trucks can reduce large truck crashes.

He said the Trucking Alliance supports the conclusions of a 2017 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study. The study, entitled “Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains,” researched four truck safety technologies, all of which can greatly reduce injuries and fatalities in large truck crashes:

  • Lane departure warning systems, which detect when the vehicle drifts out of its lane and warns the driver
  • Video-based onboard safety monitoring, which utilizes in-vehicle video cameras and sensors.
  • Automatic emergency braking systems, which detect when the truck is in danger of striking the vehicle in front of it and brakes automatically, if needed.
  • Air disc brakes, which will eventually be superior to traditional drum brakes, as these systems are continually improved.

Some of the largest trucking companies in the U.S. are members of the Trucker Alliance, including Cargo Transporters, Dupre, J.B. Hunt, KLLM Transport Services, Knight Transportation, Maverick Transportation, Swift, U.S. Xpress and May Trucking Co.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Best Truck Driving Jobs at Truck Job Seekers - Ad
5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Charles Stein

    June 13, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Most of what is being said in this article is correct. However what bothers me is the 65 mph maximum speed. If imposed on all trucks, this would essentially create a split speed limit. These have been proven over and over again to be counter productive to safety. You have disarmed the larger vehicle and made it a sitting duck in traffic. In many states that used to have a split speed, trucks were often involved in being rear ended by cars. The real problems are that drivers still are being pressed for time. Trying to make at times tough schedules, and having to put up with delays at the customer. To which many of the aforementioned members of trucker alliance say that paying drivers fifteen dollars an hour after giving up two hours is adequate. They have limited drivers pay for waiting now they also want to limit their speed as well. This translates into drivers being late having to babysit loads without compensation. The real problem for the most part is distracted driving, people in cars who don’t know how to drive around trucks, and horrible infrastructure. If a driver of a large truck keeps a good following distance in front of himself, it doesn’t matter how fast he is traveling.

  2. William

    June 13, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    This isn’t rocket science, you want to cut down on truck crashes, lose electronic logs. We realize they’re here to stay, but drivers are racing the clock, taking more chances etc…

  3. Randy

    June 14, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    What William said, and the members of the Trucker Alliance are the ones that are in the most wrecks and fatal collisions

  4. D Allen

    June 16, 2019 at 11:11 am

    No doubt focus should continue to be on safety on ALL on-road vehicles, but one frustrating item is the omission of the fact that the vast majority of fatality accidents involving heavy trucks are not the fault of the truck driver (or his/her truck). The latest statistics indicate over 75% of fatality accidents involving heavy trucks are the fault of the adverse.

  5. Dan g.

    June 30, 2019 at 11:26 am

    Sorry but turning trucks down to 65 mph? As a driver who has been driving a truck at 65 for pass 10 years, I can say u are dead wrong. It’s not safe it actually been proven to be unsafe.. elds are find. But the issue is unless u get shipper and receivers to stop keeping us at docks forever and get truck companies to set realistic safe transit time, and not force drivers to run bat out of hell, nothing going to change.. if there must be a speed limit it should be at a safe REASONABLE speed like 72..65 is way 2 slow.. engine works way too hard as it is and according 2 dealers, when trucks do less than 70 mph, the engine does not do a proper Regen because the engine doesn’t get hot enough. What is needed on the roads is more police in unmarked cars, NOT HARASSING truckers.. but going after other motorist who cut truckers off and do unsafe things around trucks.. other motorist who see mark police cars drive good but when they not around is when they do stupid things

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Nation

Minnesota Trucking Association names Scott Post as 2019 driver of the year

Published

on

Minnesota trucking association names 2019 driver of the year
Scott Post, a contract truck driver for FedEx Ground, has been selected as the Minnesota Driver of the Year by the Minnesota Trucking Association. Post has been driving a truck for 41 years and has more than 2.5 million safe miles. (Courtesy: Minnesota Trucking Association)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The Minnesota Trucking Association named Maplewood, Minnesota resident, Scott Post, a professional truck driver contracted for FedEx Ground in St. Paul, Minnesota, as the 2019 Minnesota Driver of the.

“This award is a great way to honor the best in our industry. Driving safe is no easy task, especially when you take into consideration his daily driving conditions like congestion, driver distractions and Minnesota winters. Having 2.5 million safe driving miles is an outstanding accomplishment,” said John Hausladen, MTA president. “We’re proud to award Scott for this achievement.”

Post is employed by Spartan Logistics in Newport, Minnesota which is a contracted service provider for FedEx Ground. FedEx Ground provides 1-5-day delivery of small packages to all 50 states, plus Canada. Scott has been driving a truck for 41 years and has driven more than 2.5 million safe miles.

“Scott Post is one of the safest, most attentive, detail-oriented drivers I’ve ever had,” said Randy Kurek, Owner of Spartan Logistics. “He’s always ready to learn and at the same time, is a sponge for industry knowledge. He lives and breathes trucking.”  In addition to being an outstanding professional truck driver, Post is involved with many community organizations, including Operation Lifesaver, the World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics and the Minnesota Trucking Association’s Trucks for Toys program.

Throughout 2019, drivers are nominated by their companies and one driver is chosen each month to be the Driver of the Month. The drivers who are chosen meet a high standard of requirements including an outstanding driving and work record; contribution to industry and highway safety; and involvement in the community.

In January, MTA hosts the Driver of the Year Banquet and one of the twelve nominees is selected as Driver of the Year by a panel of judges including Matthew Marin, division administrator for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; Deb Ledvina, director of commercial vehicle operations at MnDOT; and Captain Jon Olsen, Minnesota State Patrol.

Continue Reading

The Nation

Transportation Secretary calls on industry to ‘Put the Brakes on Human Trafficking’

Published

on

trucks on highway
The Department of Transportation wants to train the transportation workforce, including professional truck drivers, on the issue of human trafficking. The DOT anticipates over 1 million employees across all modes of transportation will be trained because of this program. (iStock.com/WendellandCarolyn)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao has announced a series of efforts to combat human trafficking in the transportation sector. Secretary Chao was joined by leaders from Congress, state governments and the transportation industry responding to this call to action.

“The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to working with our public and private partners to fight human trafficking on America’s transportation system,” Chao said.

Among the initiatives announced by Secretary Chao is a renewed focus on the “Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking” pledge to train the transportation workforce and raise public awareness on the issue of human trafficking across all modes of transportation.  Secretary Chao is challenging the transportation industry to commit to “100 Pledges in 100 Days.” The Department anticipates over 1 million employees across all modes of transportation will be trained because of this initiative.

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, affecting millions of adults and children in the United States and worldwide. Victims are of every age, race, gender, background, citizenship, and immigration status. Some are trafficked within their own communities on various forms of transportation, while others are transported to new locations.

To amplify counter-trafficking efforts, Secretary Chao established an annual $50,000 award to incentivize individuals and entities, including non-governmental organizations, transportation industry associations, research institutions, and state and local government organizations, to think creatively in developing innovative solutions to combat human trafficking in the transportation industry. The Department will review applications and determine the individual or entity that will most effectively utilize these funds to combat human trafficking.

Secretary Chao also announced $5.4 million in grant selections through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Human Trafficking Awareness and Public Safety Initiative. Twenty-four organizations across the country will each receive funding for projects to help prevent human trafficking and other crimes on public transportation. A list of the selected projects is available online.

To support the Department’s counter-trafficking efforts, the DOT Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking completed a report in July 2019 that recommends actions the Department can take to help combat human trafficking and best practices for states and local transportation stakeholders.

Continue Reading

The Nation

Former NASCAR driver and Talladega’s iconic trucker John Ray dies at 82

Published

on

Former nascar driver and talladega superspeedway’s iconic trucker john ray dies at 82
John Ray whose diesel big rig sporting the giant American flag became iconic during the track’s national anthem performances, has died. (Courtesy: Talladega Superspeedway)

TALLADEGA, Ala. —John Ray, whose big rig sporting a giant American flag became iconic during Talladega Superspeedway’s national anthem performances, has died, according to a news release. The former NASCAR driver was 82 years old.

Since 2001, Ray had driven his gold, brown and chrome Peterbilt with a large American flag down the Talladega frontstretch prior to the start of races.

“National anthems at Talladega Superspeedway are the most iconic, and it’s because of our great friend John Ray,” said Speedway President Brian Crichton. “What he brought to our fans can’t be duplicated. He was an incredible, passionate man who supported the track and all of motorsports with everything he had. His spirit will live here forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ray family.”

For more than 40 years, Ray was a member of the White Flag Club, a dedicated service group of local businessmen from surrounding communities that assist during race weekends.

In 2001, after the 9/11 terror attacks and the tragic passing of his longtime friend Dale Earnhardt Sr., Ray, along with then Talladega Superspeedway Track Chairman Grant Lynch, looked to boost the morale of a country, and a fan base that had gone through tough times.

“I had a crazy idea to run my rig out on the track with an American flag attached to the back,” said Ray, who lived down the street from the track in Eastaboga, three years ago. “It started off as a tribute to the country and to Dale.

“I never thought it would become the heart-felt moment that it has over the past some-odd years, but I’m glad it has become a tradition that means so much to the fans and the Talladega family. It represents such a sense of pride that we all share together as a nation and as a community. It is my honor and privilege to do it,” added Ray, who eventually gave up the driving duties of his big rig and handed them off to his late friend Roger Haynes, and last year to his son Johnny.

That wasn’t Ray’s first time at the 2.66-mile track. Ray, who owned “John Ray Trucking Company” since the early 70s, actually set the world speed record for a semi-truck and trailer around the mammoth track at 92.083 mph in 1975 — in a powerful Kenworth.

“We were testing brakes for a company out at the track,” Ray said. “One thing led to another — and there I was truck, trailer, and all — making my way around the track, trying to set a speed record. It was something else.”

Ray drove in the NASCAR Cup Series from 1974-1976. He competed in eight races, four at Talladega (where his best career finish was 22nd in 1974), but an accident at Daytona in 1976 ended his driving career. He continued as a car owner and essentially gave one of the sport’s greatest legends one of his first opportunities: 10-time Talladega winner Earnhardt. It would be Earnhardt’s third career start.

To read the full release, visit Talladega Superspeedway’s website.

Continue Reading

Trending