Punjabi Trucking Magazine - April - June 2023

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Biden’s administration’s nomination of Julie Su as Department of Labor Secretary poses an existential threat to the independent contractor model which is the core of American Trucking industry. We know that Julie Su’s previous support of California’s AB5 while Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency that impacted the trucking industry, and now it’s definitely going to be at the federal level. At this point, we can ask the lawmakers to understand that choosing your career as an independent owner operator should not be dictated by government.

Lawmakers needs to understand how important it is to keep this model alive because 90 present of our trucking industry is a small trucking companies or as an owner operator. We understand the independent contractor model

is abused by people and definitely needs to be stopped, but not at the cost of eliminating real owner operators. As we all know, trucking industry is going thru tough times and weather is not playing a good role at this time. We want our truckers to understand as well that moving out of California to other state is not the answer, but to run their business properly and stay compliant. The American Trucking industry is a great industry, and we are proud to be a part of it. At this point, we want our industry to get together and fight together to save our identity that is helping our communities now and years to come. We trust that our trucking industry will bounce back and continue to serve their country, United States of America. God Bless You All.


Raman S. Dhillon press@punjabitruckingusa.com


Sunny Vraitch


Rhea Randhawa


Rahul Salaria info@punjabitruckingusa.com


Raman S. Dhillon sales@punjabitruckingusa.com


Ranjit Singh Bhamra


Maxx Printing, LLC

Harshpal Brar




Rhea Randhawa

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Michael Smith

Mandeep Kaur

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Published quarterly by Primetime Multimedia Company LLC 4709 North El Capitan #104, Fresno, CA 93722 Tel: 001 877 806 2525 | Email: info@punjabitruckingusa.com All Rights Reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be printed without the written consent of the publisher. DISCLAIMER: Primetime Multimedia Company LLC assumes all advertisers to be reliable and responsible for any and all liability for their claims. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertisement it may find unfit for publication. The opinions expressed in articles and features are of the writers and may not be those of the publisher. THE PUBLISHER ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY OF ANY KIND.
Official Magazine for: North America Punjabi Trucking Association
www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 6 CONTENTS ARTICLES 46 Cummins’ New Division Accelera Signals the Company’s Dedication to its Destination Zero Initiative ABC Finance LLC ......................................... 09 Apollo Tires .................................................. 05 Automann ....................................................... 45 AWAKO ........................................................... 07 Big Rig Tires & Alignment ............................. 31 BP Lab Services ............................................ 28 CDL Jobs Guru ............................................ 47 Flat Rate Dispatching ................................. 27 Gillson Trucking Inc. ..................................... 11 Golden State Peterbilt ................................... 03 Golden Land Trans. Insurance .................... 46 Jagdeep Singh Insurance Agency ................ 36 Jessie Dhillon ............................................... 35 Kam-Way Transportation Inc .................... 41 Load Stop ..................................................... 13 Lotus Benefits Corp ..................................... 37 Maxx Printing ............................................... 19 My Tek Hub .................................................. 21 NAPTA .................................................... 29, 43 NEXA Mortgages ........................................ 15 Punjabi Trucking 360 ................................... 25 Punjabi Trucking App ................................... 33 Prime Display .............................................. 19 Primelink Express ........................................ 02 Revolution Capital ................................. 11, 17 SimbaQuartz ................................................ 12 Singh Financing .......................................... 23 The Driver Services ....................................... 47 Volvo Trucks ................................................. 48 10 jUlI sU ƒ ikrq ivBwg dy sk~qr vjoN kIqw nwmzd, tr~ikMg audXog dy smrQkW ny kIqI iesdI Awlocnw[ 34 slwnw CERAWeek AYnrjI kwnPrMs 'c 'hweIfRojn' crcwvW dw ivSw irhw[ 14 CVSA Makes Changes to Outof-Service Criteria for Duty Status Records and Drug Use 37 Hou Out at TuSimple Amid Rumors of Employee Poaching 17 26 CVSA v~loN AMqrrwStrI rofcY~k inrIKx 16 qoN 18 meI leI kIqw qYA[ Nikola Tre a Pleasure to Test Drive 44 tr~ikMg mwrkIt 2023 dy izAwdwqr smyN leI loV nwloN 25% v~D smr~Qw dyK skdI hY[ 8 30 42 40 24 Connect with Us 39 INDUSTRY NEWS

ATA President Chris Spear Expresses Concern

Over Labor

Secretary Nominee Julie Su

According to American Trucking Associations (ATA) President Chris Spear, the Biden Administration’s nomination of Julie Su as Department of Labor Secretary poses an existential threat to the independent contractor model that has been at the core of the trucking industry for several decades.

In a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Spear expressed his

concern over Su’s previous support of California’s AB5 as it impacts trucking.

Because it uses the three-pronged ABC test designed by the California Supreme Court in the Dynamex decision, analysts believe that most independent truckers would be unable to meet all three parts of the test and would become company employees. Currently, the Department of Labor uses more criteria to determine the

difference between a permanent employee and an independent contractor.

“AB 5 is designed to strip independent drivers of their choice and right to operate as contractors for motor carriers, in essence forcing them to become company employee drivers,” wrote Spear. “It is wreaking havoc on thousands of self-employed, small business owners by forcing them into legal limbo and placing

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 8

administrative, compliance, legal and other unsustainable costs on the industry.”

Spear also said ATA is “gravely concerned” with the notice of proposed rulemaking published by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division in October that would likely have the same effect as AB 5 on a federal level.

“Without the hundreds of thousands of independent owner-operators in our industry today, the supply chain would grind to an immediate halt, and a way of life of hundreds of thousands of small businessmen and women could be eradicated,” wrote Spear. “Ms. Su has significant authority over the rulemaking process as deputy secretary of Labor and will have almost complete authority to write

the final rule should she be confirmed as Labor secretary.”

In his letter, Spear offered a group of questions which Senators should ask of Su during her confirmation hearings:

• Do you consider AB 5 a policy success generally, and specifically as it relates to trucking?

• What is your message to selfemployed truckers who were forced by AB 5 to leave California to save their business, income, lifestyle, and freedom to earn a living on their own terms?

• Many independent contractors choose to operate independently so they can determine their own

schedules, grow their earning potential, and achieve their desired level of work-life balance. Why should they be denied that right to choose their own career path?

• Do you believe that the department of Labor should consider contractual safety requirements between a motor carrier and an independent contractor as evidence of misclassification and a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act?

Su previously worked as Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and is currently the deputy labor secretary. She would replace Marty Walsh who has left the administration to be the executive director of the National Hockey League’s player association.

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 9 COVER ARTICLE

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www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 10
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www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 11 G O O D P AY - F A M I LY E N V I R O N M E N T B E N E F I T S - D E D I C A T E D & T E A M L O A D S I N T B - I A HIRING DRIVERS & OWNER OPERATORS 408-386-0913 Educat on - Ser v ce - Suppor BI T JA R N U U C P KIN N G ICA A R S E S O M C A A H T T I R O O N N NAPTA M E D M U B O E R R P
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Knight-Swift to Acquire U.S. Express for $808 Million

Phoenix-based Knight-Swift Transportation, the fifth largest trucking company in the U.S., has agreed to acquire competitor Chattanooga, Tennessee-based U.S. Express Enterprise Inc. for $808 million. The deal will pay U.S. Express investors $6.15 a share, well above their current market closing price of $1.50.

U.S. Express will keep its brand and would add about $2.2 billion in revenues this year to Knight-Swift. The acquisition would increase KnightSwift’s run rate to about $10 billion a year. The deal brings with it more than 6,000 vehicles which would be added to the company’s 25,000 commercial trucks on the road.

As recently as last April, shares in the company were valued at $5.44, but U.S. Express has fallen on hard times lately with high insurance claims and dropping volume. They recently launched a restructuring plan that would cut $25 million in costs per year.

“Although it will take time, particularly given the current freight environment, we would not have pursued the transaction unless we were confident in achieving our return thresholds within a few years,” said Knight-Swift CEO Dave Jackson in a press release.

“Beyond that, we will continue to work with the U.S Xpress team in pursuit of the performance levels of our other truckload businesses over the next

several years, so the opportunity for our stockholders is substantial,” added Jackson.

U.S. Express leadership, CEO Eric Fuller and CFO Eric Peterson will leave their current roles but will be available to help with the transition. U.S. Express was founded in 1896 by Max Fuller and Patrick Quinn.

Knight-Swift was formed during a 2017 merger between Knight Transportation and Swift Transportation, rising to become one of the top freight companies in the U.S. Jackson and his team are looking to create a return on investment of about 15%. That would implementing Knight-Swift’s systems and best practices.

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 12

CVSA Makes Changes to Out-of-Service Criteria for Duty Status Records and Drug Use

The updated North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria (OOSC) from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) were released in December. A majority of CVSA’s Class I members need to support changes to the OOSC for them to take effect.

The OOSC provides guidelines for law enforcement and motor carriers which promote uniformity in compliance and enforcement across North America. The guidelines have been published annually for over 30 years.

"We get comments all year from law enforcement, industry and manufacturers" on what constitutes an "imminent hazard," that would place a driver or vehicle out of service, said Jeremy Disbrow, CVSA's Roadside Inspection Specialist.

Major changes this year focus on socalled "False Log" violation changes, printing records of duty status when an operator is using computer-assisted logs, and when drug use causes a driver to be identified as out of service.

The changes are "mostly in favor of the driver and less stringent" than past criteria, said Disbrow. Some changes

update the grammar and wording of existing guidelines so they're clearer to law enforcement and drivers.

One clarification is on false record of duty status or “false log. "It used to be under the old version that any false entry in an eight-day logbook, even if it was seven days ago” would cause an OOSC violation, said Disbrow. "But if a driver falsified their book six days ago, and then rested and took a restart” they are probably no longer a hazard.

As a result, CVSA’s Driver/Traffic Enforcement Committee determined a false log "would only be an OOS if the falsification occurred after the last rest period and is being used to conceal either an 11-, 14-, 60- or 70-hour violation," said Disbrow.

The changes give drivers flexibility for not having printed and signed logs. This can be an issue if a driver is exempt from electronic logging devices yet still use a computer-assisted log.

"The current interpretation in the FMCSRs for CFR 395.8 indicates electronic [logs] that are not an ELD or AOBRD must be electronically signed or printed and manually signed. All documents required by CFR 390-399

can be electronic, rather than paper," the OOSC reads. Drivers that are using electronic logs that are not an ELD or AOBRD (Automatic Onboard Recording Device) are still required to electronically sign and print their logs.

However, the "OOSC should not require a document to be printed to not to be placed OOS. If the hours of service of the driver can be reviewed on the electronic display, the driver should not be placed OOS for no [logs] as this does not constitute an imminent hazard."

Concerning drug use, the new OOSC has been amended to say a driver "Shall not be under the influence by adding language for use within the previous 24 hours." This means drugs such as amphetamines, narcotics, prescription drugs not prescribed to the driver or prescription drugs that have a warning regarding operating machinery.

Drivers have also been given some flexibility on drug use. A driver who may have smoked marijuana five days ago could have, under previous OOS criteria, been deemed out of service. This year the OOSC has determined that such usage no longer presents an “imminent hazard.”

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 14 INDUSTRY NEWS
April - June 2023
www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 15 jykr qusIN G~t qoN drimAwnI-Awmdn vwly pihlI vwr Gr KrIddwr ho qW dyKo ik qusIN zIro kloizMg lwgqW jW loVINdy fwaUn pymYNt nwl Awpxw Gr ikvyN KrId skdy ho[ Licence number NMLS# 2000498 AZMB# 0944059 This program is only available for California residents for limited time. Punjabi Trucking Magazine delivered FREE to your home or office. Only $10.00 per year Just pay shipping & handling and get it via US Mail anywhere in USA Subscribe today Email: info@punjabitruckingusa.com or call 877.806.2525

CVSA’s International Roadcheck Inspections Slated for May 16-18

Scheduled for May 16-18, this year’s International Roadcheck held by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance “will focus on anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and cargo securement to highlight the importance of those aspects of vehicle safety,” said CVSA on Twitter.

The annual Roadcheck is a high-visibility and high-volume inspection and enforcement event with CVSA-certified inspectors conducting inspections of commercial vehicles and drivers throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The inspections are provided at weigh stations, designated areas and on roadways.

“Although ABS violations are not out-of-service violations, ABS play a critical role in reducing the risk of collisions by preventing the wheels from locking up or skidding, allowing a driver to maintain control of the vehicle while braking,” CVSA said.

“In addition, improper cargo securement poses a serious risk to drivers and other motorists by adversely affecting the vehicle’s maneuverability, or worse, causing unsecured loads to fall, resulting in traffic hazards and vehicle collisions,” CVSA continued.

After the usual roadside inspections have been conducted, CVSA will compile the data it gathers and provide a report on the current state of commercial vehicle and driver safety. The event also acts as a way to educate the industry and general public

on the importance of safety and the North American Standard Inspection Program.

North American Standard Level I Inspections focus on driver and vehicle safety compliance. Inspectors look at brake systems, cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, driver’s seat, fuel and exhaust systems, frames, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, wheels, rims, hubs, and windshield wipers are in compliance.

Emergency exits, seating, and electrical cables and systems in the engine and battery compartments are also inspected on motorcoaches, passenger vans and other commercial passenger vehicles. For drivers, inspectors check operating credentials, hours-of-service documentation, seat-belt usage and their status in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

If inspectors identify critical vehicle inspection violations, as outlined in the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, the vehicle will be restricted from operating until the identified out-of-service conditions have been corrected. Likewise, drivers may be restricted from operating a commercial vehicle if found to have violations or do not possess the necessary licenses.

CVSA inspections are in conjunction with law enforcement jurisdictions in cities, states and territories in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 16 INDUSTRY ARTICLE

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During its latest quarterly earnings conference call with investors, Texas-based Hyliion, an industry leader in Class 8 electrification, noted it will begin production by the end of this year with its Hypertruck ERX hybrid Class 8 trucks, which supplement electric batteries with onboard CNG (compressed natural gas) generators.

The Hyliion platforms are placed on a Peterbilt Model 579 chassis at Peterbilt’s factory in Denton, Texas. Currently undergoing testing, the Hypertruck still needs approval from federal and state transportation and environmental agencies.

“We are on track for obtaining CARB [California Air Resources Board], EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] and NHTSA [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] certifications in the second half of the year, which we

Hyliion Hypertruck Production on Schedule for Late 2023

expect to be our final milestones before delivering units to fleets,” said Hyliion founder and CEO Thomas Healy.

Along with its ERX hybrid, Hyliion is partnering with New York-based Hyzon Motors to produce a fuel-cell electric prototype truck.

“Together, we will integrate the Hyliion electric powertrain system and the Hyzon fuel cells into a Peterbilt [Class 8 sleeper] chassis,” said Healy. Hydrogen-powered trucks should develop increased demand as hydrogen fueling infrastructure increases and fuel cost comes down. Currently there are only a handful of hydrogen fuel stations in California.

In a statement from Hyzon, the company said, “Collaboration between Hyzon and Hyliion leverages the competitive advantages of each company to speed the development of a fuel cell

Class 8 semi-truck, while eliminating duplicative costs and improving vehicle performance and reliability.”

In yet another project, Hyliion is working to figure out the Karno generator technology the company acquired from General Electric. These fuel-agnostic generators can be adapted to use 20 different fuel types and could eventually offer more than 20% in improvements over current equipment.

Hyliion views the Karno tech as the future generator for the HyperTruck and as a bridge to when fuel-cell trucks are viable. Healy also envisions these generators could be deployed as a solution to power fleet’s charging stations for battery-electric vehicles.

Although the company appears on the upswing, industry analysts believe 2023 could be a pivotal year for Hyliion.

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NPRM Proposal on Brokers has Tentative Support from Motor Carriers

In its ongoing investigation of truck brokers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently announced it would extend the comment period for its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for rules to codify broker and freight forwarder financial requirements. Comments had been set to end in early March.

FMCSA also announced it will reopen comments for interim guidance that would clarify the definitions of “broker” and “bona fide agent.” The moves were in response to a public listening session which took place at the Mid-America Trucking Show in late March.

While the guidance on brokers and agents was effective on publication, FMCSA wanted further comments and will issue a final guidance on June 16. The comment period was reopened through April 6.

The agency said, “FMCSA believes it is in the interest of the public to reopen the comment period so FMCSA may consider comments on the guidance made at the [listening] session and for a

short period thereafter.”

In its NPRM, the agency proposes to allow brokers and freight forwarders to meet the MAP-21 requirements to “assets readily available” when contracting with carriers. MAP-21 was signed into law in 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century sought to implement several new provisions for the trucking industry.

The NPRM proposes rules to regulate brokers and freight forwarder financial responsibility in five areas. According to the federal register, these five areas include, “Assets readily available; immediate suspension of broker/freight forwarder operating authority; surety or trust responsibilities in cases of broker/ freight forwarder financial failure or insolvency; enforcement authority; and entities eligible to provide trust funds for form BMC-85 trust fund filings.”

In the most recent comments, the majority of stakeholders favor the proposed rules. The American Trucking Associations agreed with much of the proposal but believes it could go further

to ensure timely payment to carriers.

“Unfortunately, by taking a more permissive approach to what assets would be considered readily available, the agency risks opening the door to expanded—instead of restricted—use of broker-funded trust funds,” ATA said. ATA made it clear in the proposal there are several asset types that are not able to be liquidated within seven days but said “the proposal does not fully evaluate the more fundamental question of which asset types specifically meet a standard to serve as a financial guarantee.”

ATA commented that FMCSA should include a “prescriptive list,” which would “provide an answer to this question while also ensuring that the FMCSA is exercising its regulatory authority and responsibility to set financial responsibility policies that reduce unscrupulous brokers.”

Other commenters seemed to agree the proposal was a move in the right direction.

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 20

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www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 21 TRUCKING NEWS
'qy NPRM pRsqwv ƒ motr kYrIArW qoN
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New DOE Report Targets Commercial Trucks and Refrigeration Units as Suitable for Solar Modules

In order to decrease diesel fuel costs or increase power in electric vehicles (EVs), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has indicated that commercial trucks, trailers and refrigerated units could benefit from experimental solar photovoltaic vehicle modules.

Solar photovoltaics is simply a system that utilizes solar panels on the outside of

Research recently released by the Vehicle Technologies and Solar Energy offices of the DOE identified commercial trucks and trailers as the nation’s largest market for these modules.

The DOE is looking at ways to integrate modules into vehicle exteriors and electric system architecture to supply power to onboard electric loads or batteries. Mediumand heavy-duty trucks display great potential for solar technologies, mostly because of their large, flat, and horizontal surfaces, which make for easy installation.

More potential for use from trucks in fleets operating during daylight, especially for trucks making local deliveries.

Standardized designs for trucks compared with other vehicle types.

Greater motivation for adoption to help lower fuel costs in transporting high-value goods.

The DOE identified the southern U.S., where there is consistently more sunshine as offering good opportunities for using solar modules, especially markets such as food and long-haul goods.

vehicles. The process has been around for more than 70 years but is now becoming widespread in the manufacturing industry. Currently released car models with solar roofs include the Toyota Prius with a 180watt module and the Hyundai Sonata with a 210-watt module.

The energy produced by modules can power electric engines and on-board air conditioning or refrigeration systems, according to the research. Modules would replace components such as roofs, hoods, windshields, windows, and doors.

Other benefits of outfitting commercial trucks with photovoltaic modules include:

Frequent exposure to the sun since commercial trucks are usually on the road rather than parked in garages.

“Photovoltaic integration into transport refrigeration units was identified as particularly attractive because of the need to replace diesel fuel in TRUs. Further, TRUs have a duty cycle amenable to solar charging,” the report noted.

Obviously more work is needed to be done in this field to make the modules commercially profitable. Problems include high costs, potential unreliability, installation issues and the technical complexity of maintenance.

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 22

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April - June 2023 23
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DOT Budget Focuses on Safety and Supply Chain

In their budget for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Biden Administration has slated safety and solutions to the nation’s supply chain issues as top priorities.

The DOT budget looks to improve safety on U.S. roads while improving connectivity in the nation’s supply chain. Other priorities include climate change, environmental justice, and the adoption of emerging technologies.

“The budget reflects our values as a nation—a nation of good people, growing in a new age of possibilities and standing as a beacon to the world. Together, let us put those values into practice and prove that democracy delivers as we keep building a stronger, fairer economy that leaves no one behind,” said Biden in a prepared statement.

The DOT requests are part of the larger $6.9 trillion budget which was sent to Congress in early March. With a divided Congress, it’s unlikely Biden will get everything he wants.

To improve safety, the DOT budget

has more than $1.3 billion earmarked for the National Highway Safety Administration. This money is in response to rising highway fatalities in the nation. In 2021 there were nearly 43,000 road accident-related deaths.

To help improve the nation’s supply chain the budget provides $230 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program. The request for port connectivity improvements would be in addition to funding that was already agreed on in the 2021’s $1.2 Bipartisan Infrastructure Act.

Other proposals include $14 billion in transit operations grants, $1.5 Billion for rail safety—a hot issue after the recent train derailment in Ohio—and $1.2 billion for other infrastructure projects.

The Biden DOT budget would increase funding for transportation programs by $27.8 billion in discretionary authority and $80.3 billion in contract authority and obligation limitations.

“This year’s budget comes at a critical moment for our country and a time

when the president’s economic strategy is working,” Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young said in a press release. “The economy has added 12 million jobs. The unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level in more than 50 years. And we just had the two strongest years for new small-business applications on record.”

Republicans who control the House of Representatives had a different message about the budget proposal. In a statement shortly after the budget was released, Republican leaders were quick to criticize the budget as “reckless and doubling down on the same far-left spending policies that have led to record inflation and our current debt crisis.”

Republicans in the Senate also criticized the president’s budget. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) said the proposal “reveals how out of touch Biden is with families in Wyoming and across the country. This president wants to raise taxes on hardworking families so he can fund his reckless, radical spending.”

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 24 INDUSTRY NEWS
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Nikola Tre a Pleasure to Test Drive

Despite more than a year of problems and boardroom drama, battery-electric truck manufacturer Nikola has recently managed to ship 131 trucks to dealers with 500 more vehicles set to be

delivered this year.

And, although the new trucks are without many of the bells and whistles originally promised by Nikola founder Trevor Milton when he introduced

his company in 2017, the new Tre is worthy competition for other EV trucks including Freightliner's eCascadia, Volvo's VNR Electric, the Peterbilt 579EV and Kenworth T680e.

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 26

The Tre offers a range of up to 330 miles per charge. It’s built on the Iveco S-WAY platform. It measures 13'2" tall, which is quite noticeable from the driver's seat. Towering over the road, the driver’s seat hovers over a telescopic steering wheel and an array of digital screens providing information on everything including speed, mileage range and battery charge, map, and HVAC. There's plenty of room to stand up, plenty of overhead storage and a skylight.

Drivers will be impressed at the extremely quiet nature of the truck. On the open highway, where some EV’s might be surrounded by wind and road noise, the Tre is comfortable. And, in traffic, the truck maneuvers efficiently and is well-suited for short-haul and regional deliveries.

According to Nikola, there’s little difference between the aerodynamics of the Tre and most new conventional trucks. Although the exterior is a series of sharp angles and flat surfaces, the truck’s wind-resistance is "sneaky," with those squares and flats minimizing drag and reducing turbulence.

Maneuverability in a cabover can provide a challenge but not with the Tre. A U-turn is often difficult, if not impossible, in most semis, but the Tre makes a 180-degree about-face as well as most smaller trucks and passenger cars. There's a look-down mirror under the visor to account for small cars and pedestrians because the cabover design makes it difficult to spot things close to the bumper.

The weight of the battery packs along with a new suspension system and bigger wheels actually make the ride quality of the new Tre superior to most trucks because it tends to have a lower center of gravity. In addition, the six-stage regeneration brake makes driving in traffic easier.

The PlusDrive system, which includes lidar, radar and a camera system, will provide an autonomous driving system. The complete system, however, will not be available until the end of 2024.

Tre is currently only available in a daycab with the potential for sleeper models postponed as the company continues to tweak its technology. The company continues to build out its plant in Coolidge, Arizona to eventually produce Tre’s with up to a 500-mile range which would offer a sleeper berth.

Although leadership problems continue to plague Nikola, its product on the road has been pleasingly successful and the Tre is definitely a worthy entrant in the battery-electric truck market.

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 27 TRUCKING NEWS

FMCSA Proposal for Hair Testing Guidelines to be Published

Hair follicle testing for drug use has been a hot button issue in the trucking industry for a few years now with employers generally in favor and drivers generally against. A long-awaited proposal setting mandatory guidelines from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is set for public comment in the summer, according to FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson.

“We know that hair testing as part of drug testing is a big issue for you,” Hutcheson told the Truckload Carriers Association annual meeting in March. “And you know that DOT [U.S. Department of Transportation] must follow HHS [Health and Human Services] mandatory guidelines for this. We are being proactive as much as we can on this issue. I met directly with HHS leadership and staff and can report back today that revised proposed guidance

will be available for public viewing by summer of this year.”

An HHS proposed guideline released in 2020 was opposed by both sides of the issue. Trucking companies tend to be in favor of hair testing because it supposedly provides the most accurate information as to drug use by a driver. On the other hand, drivers have balked at such testing, citing civil rights. In some cases, such as with the Sikh driver population, they believe it is an infringement on their religious rights as well.

Also, during her speech to the annual meeting, Hutcheson highlighted the FMCSA’s ongoing battle to make the nation’s roads safer. She cited the average of 5,000 crashes involving commercial trucks that occur each year, with drivers dying at an alarming rate in such crashes.

Potential solutions to the problem

include improved training, the use of technology such as emergency braking and the installation of speed limiters on big trucks.

On another issue, Hutcheson said progress was being made with the FMCSA’s safety management system, which is being overhauled in the methodology the government uses to rank carrier safety. She encouraged carriers to see the FMCSA’s website for further details on the system.

“Go in and test your score in the old system, and the new system, and comment on it,” she said. “The main reason we’re proposing these updates is to promote fairness to ensure greater consistency and results, and by holding similar carriers to the same standards.” Comments on the system by stakeholders can be provided through May 16.

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 28
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www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 29

Hutcheson Addresses D&A Clearing house Loophole, Among Other Issues at Orlando Event

In an address to the Truckload Carriers Association in Orlando, Florida, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) chief Robin Hutcheson said the federal Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is closing a loophole that allows for a driver to have a drug or alcohol violation reported by another employer after a preemployment query, but before the next annual report.

“The Clearinghouse will very soon start notifying employers if there is a change to a driver’s clearinghouse record for up to 12 months following the query,” said Hutcheson. The change took effect in March with employers being notified by email when a driver has new information on their record.

Hutcheson also addressed the debate over the use of hair follicles for testing. Currently, the Department of Health and Human Services has not issued final guidelines for hair testing. Therefore, the FMCSA is not allowed to include those tests in the clearinghouse.

On one side, employers have called for the use of hair testing, while trucking unions and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have come out against hair testing. Hutcheson did indicate that proposed guidance should be available as soon as this summer.

Hutcheson also spoke on the problem of truck parking, noting that virtually every stakeholder in the industry has talked to her agency about the issue. “This is a critical issue, and we hear you loud and clear,” she said.

FMCSA has issued $81 million in highpriority grants toward various projects which include truck parking. Florida and Tennessee received $37 million for the problem late last year.

Finally, Administrator Hutcheson renewed the FMCSA’s long-term goal of getting to zero fatalities on the nation’s roads. She is focused on creating safer drivers, safer vehicles, and better roadways.

She called on the trucking industry to help with the “root causes” of unsafe driving. Commercial vehicles are involved in accidents that result in almost 5,000 deaths per year, including 800 commercial driver fatalities. “I cannot think of another place in the modern world where we would accept those kinds of numbers of people dying in the workplace,” she said.

To that end, Hutcheson said the agency is focused on training and technology as a path to prevention. In partnership with the National Highway Safety Administration, the FMCSA is working to make automatic emergency braking a requirement on big trucks.

She also indicated that her agency is still looking at speed limiters which would automatically slow down trucks. She said, “These are critical technologies that we believe will save lives and are true to the spirit of the national roadway safety strategy.”

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 30

Grote Unveils 4SEE Trailer Camera System at Orlando Event

Madison, Indiana-based lighting technology company Grote Industries recently introduced its 4SEE Smart Trailer Camera System during the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council in Orlando, Florida.

In a collaboration with Michigan-based electric system manufacturer Stoneridge, the new system improves safety for fleets and drivers.

The system uses Stoneridge’s Mirroreye technology and connects through a standard J560 7-way connector and needs no additional front to rear wiring. It provides real-time video from the rear and sides of the trailer to the cab.

"This camera solution utilizes the existing tractor-trailer connector, providing fleets and drivers with the speed and reliability

of a wired connection through innovation, not additional wiring," said Stoneridge President and CEO Jim Zizelman.

"We've leveraged Stoneridge's long history of designing and manufacturing OEM-grade vision systems and Grote's expertise in trailer technology to open the door to next-generation commercial vehicle safety solutions," added Zizelman.

4SEE technology allows for linking to local radar systems to alert drivers to dangers such as obstacles and vehicles in the path of a backing truck or in blind spots when changing lanes.

The system connects all modules on the trailer through the 4SEE Digital Harness, enabling a hardwired connection to all smart components on a trailer. Component data is then transmitted to a

single connection point, the 4SEE nose box, which communicates with the driver, the 4SEE data cloud, and to a telematics provider.

"At Grote Industries, we are committed to making the world safer through connected visibility," said Grote Industries President and CEO Dominic Grote.

"Since 4SEE's announcement, several major fleets have committed and completed installations of the 4SEE Smart Trailer System, and we have now completed over 1 million miles since we began testing. Through this testing, we continue to see just how paramount it is for fleet operators to have this data and technology. This critical safety system can make a difference in the trucking industry and help save lives," concluded Grote.

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 31 INDUSTRY NEWS
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Michelin Offers New Products and a Partnership with Utility

France-based tire company Michelin introduced several new products that are part of its ongoing sustainability campaign at this year’s American Trucking Association’s Technology and Maintenance Council’s 2023 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Aside from its new tires, Michelin announced that the Energy Guard Lite Skirt Kit is ready and will help reduce fuel costs.

The skirt kit’s new integrated rib cover is easy to install, uses three brackets compared with the standard four to five brackets. Its top fairing is compatible with all trailer configurations and doesn’t interfere with or cause damage while docking. It also boasts up to 66% higher ground clearance (15 in. vs. 9 in.) and lighter weight.

“This latest edition to the Energy Guard

family is going to mean even more savings to the fleet owners and drivers on the road today who want a concise, lower-maintenance SmartWay solution,” said Karen Schwartz, B2B VP of marketing for Michelin North America. “This latest addition to fleet accessories is expected to reduce overall operational costs, saving up to 7.2 gallons for every 1,000 miles driven when paired with a 53-ft. box trailer.”

Among its inventory of tires, Michelin introduced X Line Energy Z+, the newest addition to the company’s long haul product line which was launched in 2016.

“The Michelin X Line Energy Z+ tire’s enhanced durability and traction means you can drive with complete confidence as the miles continue to accrue on your fleet,” said Schwartz. “This product will not replace the X Line Energy Z but is an additional offer for those long-haul fleets

that value optimal fuel efficiency leading to improved total cost of ownership.”

The Energy Z+ offers Infinicoil and Regenion sculpture technology. Infinicoil features continuous steel wire wrapped around the tire circumference to improve stability throughout the life of the tire. Regenion uses metal 3D printing to improve tread design and increase wear and grip.

“The 18/32-in.-deep tread design of the Michelin X Line Energy Z+ tire features Regenion technology, and an evolving tread design allows additional tread grooves to develop at lower tread depths,” Schwartz said.

Later this year, Michelin plans another offering in the X Line with a 295/75R22.5 LRH size. The tire will be part of the U.S. Department of Energy SuperTruck II Program in collaboration with Daimler Truck North America.

In addition, the company announced a partnership with dry van, reefer, and flatbed provider Utility Trailer. The collaboration’s first product is the Energy Guard Mud Flap which will be standard for all of Utility’s refrigerated trailers starting in late summer. The accessory, also available for dry vans, is designed to reduce fuel and maintenance costs.

"Michelin's Energy Guard Mud Flap coupled with Utility's Side Skirt and optional Trailer Tail is designed to help meet Utility's goal of making our refrigerated trailer the most aerodynamic and efficient refrigerated trailer on the market," said Steve Bennett, Utility president.

"For additional fuel savings, Utility now offers a 36-lb. aluminum wheel that has an optional aerodynamic wheel cover as a retrofit option that can be provided by your local Utility dealer," added Bennett.

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 32 INDUSTRY NEWS

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www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 34
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Hydrogen Dominates Discussions at Annual CERAWeek Energy Conference

Hydrogen was the talk of the town in Houston this March at the annual CERAWeek (Cambridge Energy Research Associates) energy conference sponsored by information and insights company S&P Global.

During past conferences, oil and natural gas led the discussion, but this year hydrogen was front and center with more than a dozen presentations about hydrogen or ammonia fuel solutions on the first day alone.

According to the details of the session on hydrogen growth, “Hydrogen is believed to play a major role in a netzero world, contributing up to 25% of global consumption. Today, hydrogen represents 2% of global energy consumption.”

One reason hydrogen is being discussed is that the Biden Administration, in the form of last year’s Inflation Reduction

Act (IRA), has provided generous subsidies for companies who move toward a “net-zero world.”

The provisions in the IRA for hydrogen are complicated. But the most generous subsidy will provide a $3 per kilogram tax credit for hydrogen produced with virtually zero emissions, labeled green hydrogen. Different colored hydrogen, produced with higher pollution levels, will receive smaller credits.

“If we’re not successful this time, we’re never going to be successful. The level of support is astronomical,” said Andy Marsh, the president and CEO of Plug Power, a manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cells.

Currently the primary use of hydrogen is concentrated in electricity generation with hydrogen being blended with other fuels. The use of hydrogen in the trucking industry is still quite limited. One problem is that hydrogen prices tend

to be variable and would need to stabilize below diesel prices to be viable.

During the panel on growth, Bill Newsom, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Power Americas, said that the power sector is poised to benefit the most from the IRA subsidies. He also believed hydrogen exports will flourish in coming years.

The hydrogen wouldn’t be exported in its raw state, Newsom indicated, although exporting hydrogen as a component in ammonia, which is liquid at room temperature and gets its energy from the hydrogen contained in its structure, is likely.

During that same session, Justin Bird, CEO of Sempra Infrastructure, said he thought the potential growth of hydrogen fuel would be comparable to what happened with liquid natural gas over the last several years. He even believes that hydrogen presents a “bigger opportunity.

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 35 TRUCKING NEWS

More Fleets Are Turning to Machine Learning to Improve Driver Safety

According to IBM, machine learning “is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) and computer science which focuses on the use of data and algorithms to imitate the way that humans learn, gradually improving its accuracy.”

Although it is a branch of AI, machine learning is not the same thing. In a recent webinar sponsored by the Truckload Carriers Association, Brian Filip, chief technology officer with insurance company Idelic, explained the difference.

“People often conflate or use those terms in the same way,” he said. “They’re absolutely not the same thing.” AI uses machines to do things that humans would normally do, such as charting a course on a map and then giving step by step directions: “Siri, give me directions to…”

Machine learning, on the other hand, is technology that learns by itself. For the trucking industry, machine learning is a game changer. Many fleets are already employing machine learning though they may not know it.

One such machine learning technology monitors driving performance and creates a risk profile for each driver in a fleet. The key to using machine learning is to have all the systems used by truckers communicate with each other.

“You’re probably running a separate system for ELDs, for telematics, for cameras,” Filip said, “and getting them to talk to one another doesn’t usually happen, so you spend an inordinate amount of time going through all these different places.”

Machine learning software, such as those produced by Idelic and other companies, can collate data and present it to decision makers who can act on that data.

On its website, Idelic says, “Through the combination of process and technology, Idelic helps fleets predict and mitigate driver risk, reduce preventable accidents, and lower losses.”

Managers can use machine learning to identify high-risk drivers, which enables a fleet to provide targeted coaching to that driver, according to TForce Freight’s director of health and safety, Scott Reagan.

“We’re able to identify those drivers … helping everyone— the operation, the local leadership, the driver,” Reagan said, adding, “We need to get ahead of it instead of talking after the crash,” said Reagan.

Machine learning software can compile a driver scorecard which can point out faults but can also identify good driving. Reagan said, TForce drivers “all of a sudden wanted that information. We saw that risk behaviors start to diminish.”

Michael Lasko, a former driver who is now Director of Environmental Health and Safety at Boyle Transportation said adopting new technology can assist in retention efforts as long as drivers are included during every step of the process. Technology used at Boyle is beta-tested by company drivers.

The use of machine learning, however, is time consuming. The benefits may not be seen immediately but will occur over time.

“You can’t draw conclusions on what happens in an hour, or a day, or even a week,” Filip said, because crashes are statistically rare, and carriers can’t look at that granular of a level of data. “You have to measure these things over the course of months, quarters, and even years to really see whether or not you’re having a statistically significant impact on outcomes.”

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 36 INDUSTRY NEWS

Hou Out at TuSimple Amid Rumors of Employee Poaching

Autonomous trucking company TuSimple continues to deal with problems as co-founder and former CEO Xiaodi Hou has left the company. Hou founded TuSimple with Mo Chen in 2015. Chen has since left the company to form Hydron.

Hou was being investigated for attempting to poach TuSimple employees to join him in forming a new company, according to a Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

TuSimple appeared to be making major advancements in self-driving trucks in 2021 when a demonstration of its fully autonomous “driver out” capability was successful during an 80 mile run in Arizona from Tucson to Phoenix.

Hou owns approximately ten percent of TuSimple shares. Last year, he transferred his super-voting rights that he and Chen received when TuSimple went public in April 2021. Now, Chen controls about 59% of the voting rights in the company.

Since the beginning of 2022, the once promising startup began experiencing problems. Last March, Hou pushed

out CEO Cheng Lu to take over day-to-day operation of the company.

In April, a TuSimple truck with a human supervisor was prompted by an out-of-date computer command and crossed a lane of traffic on Interstate 10 near Tucson, crashing into a concrete barrier. There were no injuries, but media exposure led to questions about TuSimple’s readiness to put robot trucks on the road.

In October, claiming he lacked transparency in his duties, the independent directors fired Hou, but he, in turn, fired them, leaving the company in chaos. In November, Chen briefly returned as an executive chairman and the company appointed four new directors. Cheng Lu also returned as CEO.

Finally, in December, Navistar International ended a partnership with TuSimple, leaving them with a redundant chassis which is key to autonomous trucks. In response, Cheng laid off 350 workers, about 25% of the company, to focus the company on research and development rather than freight delivery.

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Bipartisan Hydrogen Initiative

Reintroduced in U.S. Senate

With bipartisan support, the U.S. Senate reintroduced a package of laws to support the use of hydrogen and the building of hydrogen infrastructure in energyintensive sectors of the economy, including trucking.

Hydrogen produces high-energy fuel that does not emit greenhouse gases at the point of use. This makes it ideal for an economy moving toward a zeroemission future.

Labeled the Hydrogen Infrastructure initiative, the package encourages the use of hydrogen power in areas where it is best suited, such as shipping, trucking, and heavy industry. The initiative also supports the infrastructure that is needed to transport hydrogen from production

Luján (D-New Mexico), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico).

“Sustained investments in hydrogen technologies will reduce pollution in our communities, create high-quality jobs, ensure our energy security, and help us meet our climate goals. Delaware is on the cutting edge of hydrogen innovation, manufacturing the membranes, fuel cells, electrolysis stacks, and carbon capture systems foundational to widespread clean hydrogen deployment,” said Coons.

According to Sen. Coons’ website the four components of the bill are:

The Hydrogen for Ports Act would

the production of steel, cement, glass, and chemicals. Industrial processes have specific technical requirements that limit the options for substituting heat sources. Hydrogen can supply reliable, hightemperature heat, offering favorable characteristics for reducing emissions in the industrial sector. Hydrogen can also serve as a feedstock for production of ammonia, methanol, or other bulk chemicals.

The Hydrogen for Trucks Act would support the demonstration of heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fueling stations while collecting critical data to inform future investments in hydrogen trucking infrastructure. The legislation would lower cost barriers and reduce risk for fleet operators interested in adopting hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by providing data and benchmarks, thereby incentivizing private investment and accelerating demonstration and deployment. In addition, the parallel adoption of vehicles and fueling stations will ensure their immediate utilization in the hydrogen economy.

areas to where it can be used and stored. Projects

which will produce maximum

emissions reductions will be prioritized. By lowering cost barriers and investment risk, the package enables projects and partnerships that will move the U.S. closer to meeting the ultimate demands of a hydrogen economy.

The bill’s main sponsors are Chris Coons (D-Delaware) and John Cornyn (R-Texas). Co-sponsors include Ray

support the demonstration of hydrogenand ammonia-fueled equipment at ports and in shipping applications. Ports are well-suited to be early adopters of hydrogen fuel, with multimodal transportation applications converging on a single location that can share infrastructure at scale.

The Hydrogen for Industry Act would support commercial-scale demonstration projects for end-use industrial applications of hydrogen, including in

The Hydrogen Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (HIFIA) would create a pilot financing program to provide grants and flexible, low-interest loans for retrofitted or new hydrogen transport infrastructure projects. This bill also includes a study to address outstanding questions related to technical requirements for transporting and storing hydrogen as well as an assessment of jurisdiction over siting, construction, safety, and regulation for hydrogen transport infrastructure.

“Hydrogen is a versatile energy source, but we lack the infrastructure to reap its benefits for a wide range of industries,” said Cornyn. “This legislation would help make hydrogen more accessible and cost-effective so businesses and consumers can utilize this reliable energy resource.”

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 38
INDUSTRY NEWS April - June 2023

Amazon Continues its Focus on Speed and Safety

Despite economic uncertainty and the closure of 44 of its warehouses late last year, e-retailer Amazon remains committed to improving its same-day delivery capacity by increasing the number of its ultra-fast delivery facilities to as many as 150 over the next few years.

The new delivery hubs are much smaller than the warehouses that were closed and are built around preparing orders for immediate delivery rather than storing inventory. Amazon has already opened more than 40 such hubs in the last four years in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Phoenix metro area.

It seems Amazon has sacrificed cost for speed with reports saying that it costs the company $1.55 more to deliver products from these ultra-fast sites than it does from standard warehouses. The smaller hubs, however, are cheaper when it comes to same-day fulfillment of orders. These costs are offset with a $2.99 charge for orders less than $25.

Other companies, such as Target, Walmart and Shopify are meeting Amazon’s challenge with significant investment in ultra-fast delivery facilities. For example, Target plans on spending $100 million on new sortation centers in various areas.

And Shopify has expanded with its recent acquisition of Deliverr, giving them the ability to fulfill orders within hours and not days. The challenge for Amazon’s competition is to expand its same-day delivery nationwide. So far, Amazon is the only company with that potential.

To that end, Amazon recently announced an initiative intended to support its delivery drivers. This year they will invest $200 million into safety technology for its transportation network, including equipping delivery vehicles with automatic braking, front-collision and lane-departure warnings, speed limiters, stability control and more. Its trailers will also feature anti-lock braking and cargo and door sensors.

Route-planning software and predictive analytics are also being rolled out. Drivers can take advantage of those features with Relay, Amazon’s mobile technology that provides realtime alerts and GPS navigation assistance. In addition, Amazon will take advantage of Fleet Edge, a routing technology that uses data about road conditions such as construction and other hazards to calculate safer and more efficient routes.

“We’re excited about the progress we’ve made to date and what our continued investments in 2023 will mean as we work to continuously improve in both safety and sustainability,” said Udit Madan, vice president of Amazon Transportation, on the company’s website. “We will continue to invest and invent to ensure our trucks, delivery vans, trailers and drivers are among the safest on the road.”

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 39 INDUSTRY NEWS

Wing Drones Take to the Sky for Deliveries in Urban Centers

As it did with its self-driving taxi service Waymo, Alphabet Inc. is hoping to get ahead of the competition in the emerging drone delivery service. Alphabet’s drone division, Wing, is perfecting a delivery system that will work in the urban environment.

Most drone delivery services that are in operation have stuck to rural areas where navigation and logistics is not complicated by tall buildings and crowed city centers.

Wing recently announced it will create fully autonomous citywide delivery networks, patterned after networks used by last-mile delivery vans. The company plans for a drone to pick up orders, drop them off and then charge themselves at a charging pad within the network. The drones would travel in patterns that mirror consumer demand. During the day, the drone may not even return to its home base.

“Up to this point, the industry has been fixated on drones themselves— designing, testing, and iterating on aircraft, rather than finding the best way to harness an entire fleet for

efficient delivery,” said Wing CEO Adam Woodward on the company’s website. “Wing’s approach to delivery is different. We see drone delivery at scale looking more like an efficient data network than a traditional transportation system.”

The Wing Delivery Network utilizes curbside delivery and pick-up areas at retail stores and restaurants that became ubiquitous during the pandemic. Once a drone has delivered a package it may pick up a nearby package at another store and deliver it or just park itself at a nearby network hub of drone pads awaiting its next delivery.

The process involves the drone communicating with a new piece of hardware called the Autoloader. Similar to warehouses that have streamlined operations with automated sortation and packing stations, the technology allows store workers to prepare orders for delivery simply by loading a package into the autoloader which then attaches to the drone.

Once Wing confirms a package is in the Autoloader, a drone is on its way to pick up and deliver it. For participating

retailers, the new tech aims to make drone delivery as simple as working with platforms like Uber or DoorDash.

“Drones within the Wing Delivery Network can pick up, drop off, travel, and charge in whatever pattern makes the most sense for the entire system,” Woodward said. “For example, with multiple charging spots, they’ll have the flexibility to meet peaks in consumer demand across entire cities. Pad locations can be added simply, with the aircraft themselves used as the surveying tools to update and expand the network.”

In high density urban centers which may not have pick-up areas in parking lots, Wing has made use of rooftops to conduct its service. Currently Wing is operating in cities such as DallasFort Worth, Brisbane and Canberra, Australia, Geneva, Switzerland and Helsinki, Finland.

Within two years, Woodward predicts Wing will handle millions of small package deliveries within urban areas across the world for a fraction of the cost of ground transport.

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 40

Nikola Back in Federal Court in Dispute with CanadaBased Commercial Vehicle Manufacturer Lion Electric

Last year when electric vehicle manufacturer Nikola Corp. acquired Cypress, California-based Romeo Power Inc. a news release from Romeo’s website indicated the acquisition would help Nikola “secure control of critical battery pack engineering and production” and would “yield annual cost savings of up to $350 million by 2026” for Nikola.

The acquisition has now landed Nikola in federal court in Arizona. Canada-based EV manufacturer Lion Electric Co. is claiming that Nikola told Romeo to increase prices on an existing contract with Lion for all but 40 of 296 battery packs Lion ordered for its Lion 8T Class 8 electric truck.

In addition, Nikola is accused of telling Lion customers to buy Nikola Tre Electric trucks because the Lion vehicles

would not be available. As a result, Lion had more than 100 unfilled battery orders for the 8T in the last two years.

“As a result, Lion has and will have incurred substantial damages, not including the risk to future orders and of reputational injury,” according to the suit. Another company, Lightning eMotors may also sue Nikola for a similar issue.

During Nikola’s most recent earnings call in February, Chief Financial Officer Kim Brady minimized the Lion and Lightning eMotors claims. Nikola wrote off $4.3 million in Romeo inventory because Romeo will now exclusively supply Nikola. Romeo battery pack production is moving to Nikola’s plant in Coolidge, Arizona, from the existing Romeo facility in Cypress.

“We believe we will be able to work through this,” said Brady. “We don’t believe there will be any long-term consequences there.”

In other Nikola news, the company continues to be under federal scrutiny after it agreed at the end of 2021 to pay the Security Exchange Commission $125 million. The company has since renegotiated the payment schedule after an initial payment of $25 million. Nikola said it would recoup some of that money from original founder Trevor Milton.

Milton was estimated to be worth $3.1 billion at the time the company was slapped with numerous charges by the SEC for fraud.

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Trucking Market Could See 25% More Capacity Than Needed for most of 2023

Calculating trucking capacity for the U.S. economy has always been an imperfect science. Capitalist systems are often hard to predict. For example, in 2021, the shipping market was white hot, and capacity was tight. Today, not so much.

According to the Contract Load Accepted Volume Index (CLAV), which calculates accepted loads moving under contracted agreements, current volume is 25% lower than the highest level two years ago when many fleets expanded capacity to meet robust demand.

And, according to recent Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data, exits are just now starting to overtake entrants, meaning 25% is probably low. That number could linger for most of this year as the Federal Reserve continues to fight historically high inflation with interest rate hikes.

In fact, there are more reasons to expect weakening demand rather than strengthening as the year proceeds, which means trucking companies have to play a waiting game as to when some amount of pricing leverage will return.

Luckily, most companies or owneroperators are slow to react to capacity issues, most being very deliberate in increasing capacity or downsizing. Large fleets will take months to make these decisions. However, fleets that misjudge growth opportunities can be long term losers.

Considering the lengthy and costly process to expand, the decision is extended. For an owner-operator it can take years to make the decision to buy another truck. With the market only changing about 1% per month the decision to expand or contract is not without a good deal of speculation.

The market, of course, is cyclical, and trucking remains the most relied-upon freight transport mode in the U.S., with trucks moving about 12.5 billion tons of freight valued at more than $13.1 trillion in 2022.

“I think this year we will see a lot more normality in the market or a lot more seasonality,” said Dean Croke, principal analyst at DAT Freight and Analytics, a U.S. based transportation information service.

“From the time of the pandemic through the end of 2022, we saw little seasonality in the market. There were hints of seasonality, so you saw a little bit of a bump in rates because of the building season in the spring, but the whole peak season never materialized,” concluded Croke

www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 42 INDUSTRY NEWS
www.punjabitruckingusa.com April - June 2023 43 TRUCKING NEWS Punjabi Trucking Magazine delivered FREE to your home or office. Only $10.00 per year Just pay shipping & handling and get it via US Mail anywhere in USA Subscribe today Email: info@punjabitruckingusa.com or call 877.806.2525

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Cummins’ New Division Accelera Signals the Company’s Dedication to its Destination Zero Initiative

To improve its standing as a company dedicated to producing zero-emission engines, Columbus, Indianabased Cummins Inc. has rebranded its New Power division as Accelera. The company made the announcement in March in Washington D.C.

Cummins hopes its reputation will not solely be based on its diesel engines but will be seen as a company integrating new tech into its future goals, which include its Destination Zero initiative

which pledges the company will be fully zero-emission by 2050.

The company has already spent $900 million in research and technology as well as the acquisitions of new high-tech startups to build a division that is focused on integration of batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, electronic axles, traction drive and hydrogenmaking electrolyzers.

“Establishing Accelera reinforces our commitment to leading in zero-emissions solutions and highlights our unmatched ability to leverage our deep understanding of our customers’ needs and applications, technical expertise and extensive service and support network,” Cummins CEO Jennifer Rumsey said in a press release.

Cummins has been investing in its New Power division for several years and it has grown in revenues, but, even after the rebranding, the company believes it will be several more years before Accelera breaks even.

Accelera, however, is ambitious in its goals. One is to develop a 90-megawatt proton exchange membrane electrolyzer system for Varennes Carbon Recycling’s plant in Quebec, Canada. The project represents Cummins’ largest electrolyzer project and its largest investment in advancing a green hydrogen-based economy in North America.

In addition, Accelera is increasing its production of electric school buses in partnership with Blue Bird Corp. The companies are expecting to put a fleet of 1,000 new buses on U.S. roads over the next year and a half.

The company’s rebranding follows in the footsteps of other high-profile companies who have done the same thing. In 2020, Spartan Motors Inc., another primarily diesel engine manufacturer, changed its name to Shyft Group Inc. to acknowledge its move to focus much of its revenue on battery-powered electric work vehicles.

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Articles inside

Cummins’ New Division Accelera Signals the Company’s Dedication to its Destination Zero Initiative

pages 46-47

Trucking Market Could See 25% More Capacity Than Needed for most of 2023

pages 42-45

Nikola Back in Federal Court in Dispute with CanadaBased Commercial Vehicle Manufacturer Lion Electric

page 41

Wing Drones Take to the Sky for Deliveries in Urban Centers

page 40

Amazon Continues its Focus on Speed and Safety

page 39

Bipartisan Hydrogen Initiative

page 38

Hou Out at TuSimple Amid Rumors of Employee Poaching

page 37

More Fleets Are Turning to Machine Learning to Improve Driver Safety

page 36

Hydrogen Dominates Discussions at Annual CERAWeek Energy Conference

page 35

Michelin Offers New Products and a Partnership with Utility

pages 32-34

Grote Unveils 4SEE Trailer Camera System at Orlando Event

page 31

Hutcheson Addresses D&A Clearing house Loophole, Among Other Issues at Orlando Event

page 30

FMCSA Proposal for Hair Testing Guidelines to be Published

page 28

Nikola Tre a Pleasure to Test Drive

pages 26-27

DOT Budget Focuses on Safety and Supply Chain

pages 24-25

New DOE Report Targets Commercial Trucks and Refrigeration Units as Suitable for Solar Modules

pages 22-23

NPRM Proposal on Brokers has Tentative Support from Motor Carriers

pages 20-21

Hyliion Hypertruck Production on Schedule for Late 2023

pages 18-19

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pages 17-18

CVSA’s International Roadcheck Inspections Slated for May 16-18

page 16

CVSA Makes Changes to Out-of-Service Criteria for Duty Status Records and Drug Use

pages 14-15

Knight-Swift to Acquire U.S. Express for $808 Million

pages 12-13

ATA President Chris Spear Expresses Concern Over Labor

pages 8-11
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