Punjabi Trucking Magazine - Jan Feb 2019

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January & February 2019 //

// January & February 2019




Raman S. Dhillon MANAGING EDITOR Raman S. Dhillon


EAR READERS - A new year has arrived, and with it our opportunity for a new beginning.Today we have an chance to discard destructive old habits for healthy new ones. The previous two years are quite eventful for the trucking industry. Advancements in technology and increased requirements for cargo services have led to more growth in the industry, while more rigorous regulations and a declining driver population have brought their particular challenges. The economic outlook is not quite as excellent as it had been a year ago. In the last few months, some notes of caution and uncertainty have started to creep into discussions about the health of the economy. It’s not doom and gloom or clouds on the horizon, necessarily, but things do look a little foggy, particularly the farther you get down the road.The driver shortage is still the No. 1 challenge, I hear from fleets.This year, anticipate continued efforts to find ways to enable younger drivers to operate in interstate operations, and continued efforts to reach out into some non-traditional labor pool, including women and minorities. ELDs seem to be here to remain. If you’re still on grandfathered automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs,) do not wait till the final minute to update to ELDs as required this December. With the midterm elections, legalization,if for medicinal or recreational usage, continues to spread to more states. and now Canada.Trucking is caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to marijuana, involving public opinion and progressively liberal state laws on cannabis usage on one hand, and a national government that classifies marijuana among the most dangerous illegal drugs on the other. On top of that, the opioid epidemic is blamed for shortening our ordinary lifespan, due to much more overdoses among younger adults.While cargo volume stays elevated, potential for transferring that volume continues to battle. The driver shortage is still very widespread, and trucking businesses are beginning to really observe the effects. In 2017, the industry reportedly lacked upwards of 50,000 drivers and at the current trajectory that amount will readily grow to 175,000 drivers by the year 2026. Transport companies, regulatory agencies and lawmakers need to make it a priority in 2019 to start taking action to fight the deficit before it gets worse. 4

CONTENT DIRECTOR Harjinder Dhesi OFFICE MANAGER Ravi Dhillon ADVERTISING SALES Raman S. Dhillon GRAPHIC DESIGN Maxx Printing, LLC Harshpal Brar CONTRIBUTORS Ajit S Sandhu Harjinder Dhesi Pash Brar Surjit Singh Dr. Surdeep Singh William Mutugi CIRCULATION MANAGER Jaspreet Dhillon

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Official Magazine for: North America Punjabi Trucking Association 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.

January & February 2019 //





// January & February 2019




A&A Intermodal Terminal ................................ 50


ARB.ca.gov/truckstop ......................................... 10 Automann ................................................................. 49 Beeline Commercial Alignment & Tires. 25 BP Lab Services ................................................... 12 BVD Petroleum ...................................................... 23 California Truck Centers ................................ 03

What is Your Credit Score?



Capitol Truck Lines Inc .................................... 40

Top 3 Trucking Trends For 2019

City Registration Service ................................. 35 Clamp Guy .................................................................. 21 CVTR Inc ................................................................. 11 Doxa Lubes ................................................................ 47 Ex-Guard .................................................................... 51 Fresno Truck Wash ........................................... 13


Gillson Trucking Inc. .......................................... 27 Golden Land Trans. Insurance .................... 22 Global Multi Services ......................................... 27 Harjinder Dhesi- Realtor ............................... 33 Jagdeep Singh Insurance Agency ........... 19 Jumbo Logistics ................................................... 33 i5 Truck Wash and Repair ........................ 26 India Sweets & Spices ....................................... 39


iSoft E-Log ................................................................. 43

Lotus Financial Group .................................... 45 Maxx Printing ....................................................... 35 Mike Tamana Freight Lines ........................ 41 NAPTA ................................................................... 09, 11


Premier Business Lending .......................... 19 Premium Truck and Trailer ............................ 26 Primelink Express .............................................. 25 S Logistics LLC ....................................................... 44 Speedy Truck Wash Inc. ................................ 48 TEC Equipment Lathrop ................................ 02 Thermo King of Central California ....... 15 TK Services Inc ........................................................ 21


Truck Bath Truck Wash .................................. 13 Truxco Parts, Inc. ................................................ 31 US Shiping Trans Inc. ...................................... 17 Utility Trailer Sales of Utah ............................ 05 Valley Truck & Trailer Sales ....................... 29 Volvo Trucks ............................................................ 52


22 FMCSA’s Ray Martinez Embraces Trucking Industry Input

24 Labor Groups Seek to Strengthen Dynamex Decision


Kam-Way Transportation Inc ..................... 37 Keep Truckin .......................................................... 07

Connect with Us


Volvo Trucks to Demonstrate Volvo VNR Electric Models in 2019

34 Many Carriers Threatened To Quit After ELDs Did They?

36 EPA and Cal Air Resources Board Propose Cleaner Trucks Initiative

42 Correction or Recession: Truck Industry Sees Slowing As The Year Ends

January & February 2019 //

// January & February 2019


Trucking in 2018 And Where We Are Heading In 2019 RAMAN DHILLON


espite navigating a number of challenges, including political storms swirling around tariffs, trade policy, new technologies, and persistent long-term issues, 2018 proved to be a solid year overall for commercial



For all the panicked headlines that often seem to dominate trucking, the industry is actually doing quite well with virtually every segment shipping freight at or near peak levels. Newer sectors, such as cannabis in Canada, are hitting the ground running, and sectors that slowed over the last few years, like oil, are gearing up

January & February 2019 //

// January & February 2019


again. That said, the last year hasn’t exactly been without its obstacles. Uncertainty over the ultimate fate of NAFTA, along with new trade tariffs, have left many companies nervously eyeing the next round of trade negotiations and hoping tariffs that took effect this year will only be a short-term deviation, instead of a long-term trend. Trucking companies are also still struggling to

to recruit new drivers. The industry has struggled with a driver shortage for nearly 20 years now, but the situation hasn’t significantly improved over the last 12 months. According to the American Trucking Association, 51,000 new drivers are needed to meet the demand for high volume shippers such as Amazon and Walmart. A recent industry analysis reported that at the start of 2018, only

find new drivers to replace an aging workforce while simultaneously attempting to adapt to newer and more streamlined technology. The big news of 2018 is also the old news: the quest

one truck was available for every 12 loads, the lowest ratio since 2005. Well over 70% of the truck driver population is currently over 55. We are seeing more drivers retire, and it’s harder to bring in new people, especially when unemployment hovers well below historic averages. Trucking tends to be something that people are not proactively pursuing as a career. The industry, however, is hardly sitting idle on the recruitment front. Pay and equipment updates are major target areas for improvement as companies chase millennial workers. Wages have increased with 15% to 20% surges in many cases. In California, many transportation companies have raised driver pay by 20%, with many of the company’s drivers making upward of $70,000+, yet it still can’t find enough drivers to fill cabs. This all in the face of important improvements in trucks and the new technology being implemented by the industry. Five years ago, almost 80% of trucks had a manual transmission, but in recent years we have seen a major shift to automatic transmissions. Doing so brings in a younger population because many candidates under 50 have never driven a manual transmission. The industry is also pursuing regulatory policies it believes will help with recruitment, working with the Department of Transportation to lower the age a driver can get an interstate Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) from 21 to 18 or 19, allowing high school graduates to get into the industry from the ground floor, instead of pursuing it as a second or even third career choice. I suggest companies begin to address more work-life balance issues if they want to recruit one of the most underrepresented demographics in the industry: women. The percentage of female drivers is growing slightly and is currently around 6%. More trucks with automatic


January & February 2019 //

// January & February 2019


transmissions and enhanced onboard technology may lure more female drivers into the workforce. Female drivers also need to feel safe on the road and when

held steady or even risen over the last year. Right now, nearly all segments are experiencing significant growth. The need for refrigerated freight and vans has increased

they stop overnight. Unfortunately, these are problems without ready solutions. While driverless or autonomous trucks are often cited as a potential solution to the driver shortage, we are trying to hire drivers today. It may be difficult to attract potential new drivers if they feel driverless trucks will eventually replace them. But, until laws catch up with technology, the near future will require driver-assisted trucks rather than totally automated rigs. Although recruiting is ongoing, actual shipments haven’t slowed. In fact, most industry segments have

for the last three or four years while flatbed shipments have also thrived. Even the trade tariffs instituted by the Trump administration, something multiple companies both inside and outside of the transport industry feared, haven’t slowed things down. And, with the new U.S.-MexicoCanada Agreement replacing NAFTA, some of the uncertainty has been lifted from North American companies. Trucking, like most industries, is still trying to find the best way to integrate rapidly changing technological advancements into its business model, but it has certainly made some effective headway. In addition to the shift from manual to automatic transmissions, new regulations last year introduced the use of electronic logs on a large scale, moving fleets from paper records to digital. Overall, the rollout went better than expected with only a few smaller operators refusing to comply. The biggest problem now focuses on enforcing the new regulations. Looking forward to 2019, I think it’s going to be a good year. All indicators are very positive, and everybody’s feeling quite confident. It looks like the economy is continuing to grow, despite a roller-coaster stock market, and most economists are not predicting any slowdowns until well into the new year or 2020. At least through the first half of the year, I really see more of the same type of positive atmosphere. In retrospect, it was a great 2018 and the future is bright for 2019.


January & February 2019 //

// January & February 2019


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3247 E. Annadale Ave. Fresno, CA P: 800-464-0225 F: 559-485-0016


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529 Manwell Blvd, Bakersfield, CA P: 661-366-0912


// January & February 2019


What is Your Credit Score? PASH BRAR


redit scores are a very important factor when trying to obtain a loan or any type financing for a truck, trailer, car or home. Many do not understand what a credit score is or how it works. A better understanding will help you reach your financial goals in the future. A credit score is a reflection of your financial well-being at a certain point in time. It tells lenders whether you are high or low risk to loan money to. The higher the credit score, the lower the risk to the lender. The credit score changes with circumstances and different points of our lives. You want to be in the best position with the highest score possible so you can obtain lower interest rates and more options.


Credit scores range from 300-900. Each lender determines their minimum score to borrow money. Your credit score will be a big factor in the interest rate you will pay. A low score is higher risk and you will pay higher rates. The scoring is divided as follows: 300-559 – Poor Score 560-659 – Fair Score 660-724- Good Score 725-759-Very Good Score 760 + -Excellent Score A credit score is not the only factor considered when borrowing money. It is one of many factors such as; income, up to date tax returns, job stability of several years and bank statements. But your credit score needs to be a certain pre-determined minimum set by

January & February 2019 //

credit. Multiple enquiries can also show you may the bank before the other factors will be considered. have been declined multiple times. So try to go to You may want to try to improve your credit score. To make improvements, the first and most simple thing only one place for a loan if you can. Another important factor is not having enough you can do is pay all your bills on time and never miss a payment. Excuses like “I didn’t get my bill.” Or “I credit. I often see new immigrants who apply for a loan but they have very little credit history because was away on vacation.” Do not work for any bank or they are new to the country. It is important to apply lender. It is your own fault if you missed a payment and you are solely responsible for your own actions. for credit as soon as possible so you can start building your history. A bank cannot Try to pay your bill in full if you can instead of a give you a $100,000 loan when you only have a $500 minimum payment. It not Visa card limit that you just only saves you paying extra A credit score is not the only got 2 months ago. You need interest, but it also shows the factor considered when borrowing lender you are paying things credit to get credit, so get it as money. It is one of many factors off rapidly. Try to keep your soon as you can. such as; income, up to date tax We cannot predict credit card balances well returns, job stability of several the future, and often below the maximum limit. years and bank statements. circumstances can change. Carrying high balances and going over your limit affect You might lose your job or get sick. If this happens it is very your credit score. If you are important to maintain your carrying a high balance for a credit. Having savings for several months of all your long period of time, your credit score begins to drop major payments can cover for the unexpected or have because you have shown that you have possibly spent insurance such as disability or critical illness to cover more than you earn and possibly cannot pay the card your payments if you are unable to work. The bank off. doesn’t care if you broke your leg and can’t work, they When applying for credit, try to go to only one place, just want their money. So build your credit and then such as a broker or your main bank. Having multiple maintain it by taking precautions to protect it. A good enquiries can bring your credit score down. It also credit score will help you immensely so keep it intact. infuriates lenders that you are shopping around for

// January & February 2019




he e-commerce market is expanding its trucking industry trends. Correspondingly, it continues to expand to the number of $3.2 trillion by the year 2020. These trucking industry trends are considered as a great idea for other industries as well, not only the transportation. However, it seems to represent a major problem for the freight market. In addition, there are shippers who are looking for ways to keep up with the latest and constantly changing trucking industry trends. The fact is, they reflect on the entire industry. Starting with the shippers, the logistics providers, truckers etc. In order to achieve on the market in your industry, you need to take massive and extensive steps in order to become a leader. For example, it is crucial to consider the following services: • Full truckload • Less than truckload (LTL) • Multimodal • Small package • Last-mile delivery Due to the upcoming trucking industry trends, transportation is entering a new era with a potential to become stronger than the previous. Due to the upcoming trucking industry trends, transportation is entering a new era with a potential to become stronger than the previous.

1. Capacity Crunch The trucking industry is experiencing a low truck supply but a high demand for freight. One of the main reasons why is this happening is the driver shortage. Each year, the older drivers are retiring and there are 18

very few younger drivers left to take their place. This is mostly due to the difficulty of the occupation. In addition to this, there are a lot of factors involved here: • Hours of Service (HOS) • Driving OTR – Over the Road • Balancing Highway and Home • Average Driver Pay This shortage of drivers means that there will be few trucks on the road transporting freight. Consequently, this will worsen the economy and other industries. It is like a fall from a high altitude – the trucking industry is pulling down the rest of the industries together. The Factors Affecting it Despite the drivers’ shortage, another factor affecting the industry is increased government regulations. This includes obeying the FMCSA, SAFER, DMV etc. Moreover, besides these regulations, there are the electronic logging devices (ELD) which highly impact the drivers. According to the ELD mandate, every motor carrier must install an electronic device in their trucks so that the hours of service are automatically tracked. In addition, the law states that drivers can drive for 11 hours only while having a 10- hour rest daily. Prior to the mandate, most drivers kept manual log books to track their hours of service, while some of the larger January & February 2019 //

carriers already had ELDs. Most of the smaller carriers have complaints on the ELD, however, there are those having issues with the cost. The others dislike the fact of someone having them tracked down. Regulations such as these are implemented with the intention of creating safer roads. However, they are also perceived by drivers because a lot of them consider that their trucks will be away from home. 2. Rising Rates There were rates rising in 2018 and will continue to rise in 2019 as well. The rates go straight proportionally with the capacity crunch. To continue with, as the freight demand rises the rates rise as well but mostly to the supply fall. In other words, there are 2 types of rates in the trucking industry: spot market rates and contract rates. To emphasize, the spot rates are those that are quoted on the spot and are typically done for freight that is ready to move. On the other hand, the contract rates are those that are locked in with a carrier via contract with the shipper and are usually based on a year-long estimate of freight volume. It is predicted that the rates will stabilize but as long as capacity is tight, the rates will continue to rise. The increased rates known as one of trucking industry trends are probably the great transition from highway transport to rail freight. Intermodal rates are usually less expensive due to the nature of the mode. Due to this matter, there are shippers who switch to intermodal in order to decrease rate issues of the highway. 3. Trucking Industry Trends Technology Each year there are new technologies breaking into the world of trucks. There are companies which are launching apps that ease the job of the trucking industry and drivers as well. To put in another way, there are companies helping other trucking businesses by also offering on-demand freight apps. 10 Trucking Industry Trends For 2019 These apps usually help them by matching their companies with shippers on the market. In this way, they can easily succeed in the market share. Continually, there are applications which have limited geographic use, however, there is a high growth potential. In addition, the shippers are embracing any solution that will provide them with an ease of the job. Further, carriers are also embracing the platforms which offer them a higher and a faster payment. Another potential growth is the autonomous vehicle. There are companies which use technology to create electric semi- trucks. These trucks usually have 500 miles range. Companies are making pre-orders which shows the large interest in the technology. By using electric vehicles company owners will no longer have to pay for fuel. Notably, this is one of the important trucking industry trends to transportation companies. Companies are usually into the new technology because they want to show their customers, they cope with the latest trucking industry trends. Moreover, they show no ignorance of the innovative technology which the new era of trucking may be.

// January & February 2019


prsnl kMnvyAS dy inXmW sbMDI svwlW dy jvwb hrijMdr FysI meI, 2018 ivc PYfrl motrz syPtI mihkmy ny iek pRYs ibAwn nhI vrq skdy[ ivc tr~krj nUM prsnl kMnvyns dy inXm swP krn dI koiSS 2. inXmw dy Anuswr “AwP sweIt lokSn qy kMm krn qoN bwAd Gr jwx leI kmrSl motr vYhIkl vrqx dI iezwzq kIqI sI[ aus ibAwn dy Anuswr tr~krz nUM iksy iSpr jW rsIvr dI QW qoN iksy syP pwrikMg jgHw qy phuMcx dy leI Bry jW KwlI tr~k hY”, ieQy AwP sweIt lokySn qoN kI Bwv hY? nUM prsnl kMnvyAS vjoN vrqx dI ieQy AwP lokySn dw mqlb iSpr iejwjq hY iPr BWvy tr~k frwievr jW rsIvr sweIt nhIN hY[ ieh Awm dy kMm dy GMty Kqm ho cuky hox[ prsnl kMnvynS sbMDI l`KW tr`krz qOr qy knstrkSn kMpnIAw jW XUitlIAtI kMpnIAw dy aus bys kYp aus smyN qoN lY ky PYfrl motrz leI mhIinAw b`DI Jmyly qoN bwAd leI vriqAw jWdw hY ijhVw auh iksy syPtI mihkmy kol lokW dy sYkVy svwl Awaudy rhy hn[ hux ies mihkmy vloN prwjYkt dy nyVy sQwpq krdy hux PYfrl motrz kYrIAr syPtI v~fy ies msly nUM hor spSt krn dy leI hn[ Gr qoN ies AwP swiet lokySn mihkmy ny ies msly nUM hor spSt q~k dw sPr kimautr twiem vjoN iek Apfytf stytmYNt jwrI kIqI hY[ 1. kI iek frwievr Awpxw lof igixAw jwdW hY Aqy prsnl kMnvyns krn dy leI koiSS kIqI hY[ vjoN vriqAw jw skdw hY[ C~fx qoN bwAd prsnl kMnvyns dI vrqoN nwl Awpxy kMm vwly QW qy 3. kI prsnl kMnvyns nUM vKrI vwps jw skdw hY? qrW vyiKAW jwdW hY jdo frwievr hYjrf mYtIrIAl leI jw irhw hovy? nhIN[ lof lwaux qoN bwAd Gr jW Awpxw kMm vwly QW qy jwxw lof dy tirp ivc Awaudw hY ijs leI prsnl kMnvyns dw inXm nhIN, prsnl kMnvyns nUM hYjrf mtIrIAl frwievr vloN 20

January & February 2019 //

vrqx qy koeI pwbMdI nhIN hY[ 4. kI iek frwievr joN Sort hOl dI AYksYpSn lY irhw hovy prsnl kMnvyns vrq skdw hY? hW[ prsnl kMnvyns Aqy Sort hOl dI AYksYpSn dy ivc koeI sbMD nhIN hY[ AwP ifautI twiem, 12 GMty ifautI dI ilmt nUM nhIN vDwaudw[ 5. prsnl kMnvyns dw twiem kMm dy GMitAw ivc ikdW igixAw jwdW hY? prsnl kMnvyns vjoN vriqAw twiem AwP ifautI twiem igixAw jwdW hY[ 6. kI iek frwievr prsnl kMnvyns dI vrqoN kr skdw hY jdoN aus dy kMm dy GMty Kqm ho jwx? nhIN[ies dI isrP iek hI Cot hY ik iek frwievr Awpxy kMm dy GMty Kqm hox qy vI iek iCpr jW rsIvr lokySn qoN iksy nyVy dI sr~iKAq QW qy pwrk krn leI[ ies leI ieh vI jrUrI hY ik frwievr kol Awrwm krn leI Awvrj AwP srivs dy mqwbk kwPI smW hY[ prsnl kMnvyns aus twiem nUM ikhw jwdW hY jdoN frwievr isrP nwn ibjns dy leI frwiev krdw hY Aqy ieh ifautI fyA dy GMitAW nUM vDwaux leI nhIN vriqAW jw skdw[ 7. kI prsnl kMnvyns vrqx ivc iksy qrW dI dUrI jW vkq dI pwbMdI hY? nhIN pr Xwd rhy ik ienW inXmw dI md nMbr 392.3 dy Anuswr Qkwvt kwrn tr~k nw clwaux dw inXm ieQy vI lwgU huMdw hY[ so frwievr nUM muV kMm qy jwx qoN pihlW pUrw Awrwm krnw cwhIdw hY[ 8. kI iek frwirvr Awpxw tr~k rpyAr Swp qoN cukx qoN bwAd Gr jwx leI prsnl kMnvyns dI vrqoN kr skdw hY? nhIN[ rIpyAr jW myntInYS leI kIqw sPr Awn ifautI twiem igixAw jwdW hY[ 9. kI iek lofMf tr~k vI prsnl kMnvyns leI vriqAw jw skdw hY? hW, prsnl kMnvyns ies g~l qy inrBr krdw hY ik sPr jW mUvmYNt iks qrW dI hY nw ik tr~k BirAw hY jW KwlI[ 10. kI prsnl kMnvyns twiem AwP ifautI twiem nwl joV ky 10 GMty jW 34 GMty ifautI twiem dy leI igixAw jw skdw hY? // January & February 2019

hW, ikauik ies smyN dOrwn frwievr dw styts AwP ifautI hY[ pr Xwd rhy ik ienW inXmw dI md nMbr 392.3 dy Anuswr bImwrI jW Qkwvt kwrn tr~k nw clwaux dw inXm ieQy vI lwgU huMdw hY[ 11. kI prsnl kMnvyns dy dOrwn vI tr~k dI ienspYkSn ho sdkI hY? jy hW, qW ieMnspYksn dy dOrwn frwievr dw ifautI stYts kI hovygw? hW, prsnl kMnvyns dOrwn vI tr~k dI ieMnspYkSn ho skdI hY Aqy ies dOrwn frwievr dw styts ‘Awn ifautI, nwt frwieivMg hovygw[


FMCSA’s Ray Martinez Embraces Trucking Industry Input


laiming his “mantra is collaboration and communication,” Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) chief Ray Martinez recently signaled the agency’s willingness to work with trucking leaders on important regulatory issues. In a wideranging speech delivered at the American Trucking Association’s annual Management Conference & Exhibition in Austin, Texas, Martinez focused on his work with the trucking industry to shape and modify regulations to best fit a changing economic and transportation landscape. Chris Spear, president and CEO of the ATA, has lauded the change in the agency’s tone since the elevation of Martinez last February. “We have not witnessed this level


of engagement since the inception of the agency,” Spear said. This is precisely Martinez’s goal as he seeks feedback from truckers in order to fuel an informed regulatory process. Martinez said, “we may not always agree, and everyone may not like what comes out of the sausage factory,” but it’s essential that stakeholders have a say in what will impact their businesses. Martinez spoke in glowing terms of President Trump, declaring that the president “has an affinity” for trucking and understands the importance of the industry to the overall health of the nation’s economy. Trump has urged the FMCSA and other agencies to shed regulatory burdens in a host of economic sectors. Martinez said, “We’re exploring ways to make the regulations more responsive to current industry realities and prevailing safety needs.” FMCSA recently received more than 5,000 comments on its proposal to revise hours-of-service rules and Martinez assured those attending the conference he is attempting to “synthesize” the recommendations from truckers. Martinez acknowledged the industry is “still in a transitional phase” with the use of new electronic logging devices and the elimination of older onboard recording equipment. Martinez stressed the importance of allowing new technologies to be fostered in a less restrictive regulatory atmosphere and worries that if lawmakers feel that autonomous cars and trucks are looming as a viable option in commercial transportation, they will mandate onerous legislation which will delay or even hamper technological innovation in the United States. “Harnessing technological changes in transportation is an important way FMCSA seeks to meet our safety mission. Technology is the next frontier that can usher in greater safety for commercial motor vehicles and drivers and for motorists,” Martinez said. He further argued that the government needs to assure that “we have a fertile environment for innovation and testing. Martinez also wants to limit the rhetoric surrounding the eventuality of autonomous vehicles taking away drivers’ jobs. “If you get into this industry as a driver, you’re going to have a career if you want it for a very, very, very long time,” he said. He points to U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines covering automated vehicles and advises industry leaders to read them. January & February 2019 //

// January & February 2019


Labor Groups Seek to Strengthen Dynamex Decision


n the wake of April’s landmark decision by the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, organized labor and its allies in the state legislature are seeking to solidify the legal victory with an even stricter interpretation of the high court’s “ABC test” for determining employees. In Dynamex, the court, tossing 30 years of precedent, ruled that businesses had to meet the test in order to classify workers as independent contractors. An assembly bill, authored by Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, would further place the burden of proof on employers who wish to hire independent contractors instead of regular employees. Gonzalez Fletcher hopes that strengthening the court’s decision will protect workers in a changing economy where the middle class continues to shrink and the state’s poverty rate is one of the highest in the nation. “What we permit, what we don’t permit, what has worked for generations and built the middle class of California, needs to be largely intact,” she said. The law would particularly affect the burgeoning “gig economy” and tech firms such as Uber, Lyft and others. The proposed law is already facing push back from business groups and could be one of incoming Governor Gavin Newsom’s first political challenges. Newsom draws wide support from both labor unions and high-tech firms in the Silicon Valley, who appear to be on opposite sides of this issue. In Dynamex, the court ruled that businesses had to apply the ABC test in its hiring practices. The test is the product of nearly 15 years of litigation stemming from a lawsuit against Dynamex, a delivery company, in which the firm converted its drivers from employees, due full benefits, to independent contractors in order to save money. The court eventually ruled in favor of the drivers who argued that as independent contractors they were robbed of protections from the California Labor Code and state wage orders. The test concludes that employers must prove all three of the standards laid out by the court. Workers can only be classified independent contractors when: A) The worker is free from the hiring entity’s control and direction in connection with his/her performance of the work, both under the contract for performance of the work and in actually performing the work; B) The worker performs work that is outside 24

the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and C) The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed. Business leaders immediately condemned the decision, pointing out that almost two million California workers are labeled as independent contractors, from various segments of the economy including trucking, ride hailing, construction and other service-oriented jobs. Led by the California Chamber of Commerce, businesses seek changes in the ruling, especially as it applies to test B and what might be regarded as a company’s “usual course of business.” Some relief has already arrived for employers with the recent decision in Garcia v. Border Transportation Group LLC by a California Court of Appeal. The ruling confirmed that Dynamex’s ABC Test will be applied only for wage order purposes, and the long-standing and more flexible Borello test will continue to be applied to any and all non-wage order claims. The Chamber has also recently launched the “I’m Independent Coalition” which hopes to protect the rights of independent workers. In a sign that negotiations to further define the issue are ongoing, labor organization representatives have met with opponents of Dynamex to incorporate changes in the assembly bill that better define the ramifications of the ABC test. This may be particularly good news for small businesses who rely on contractors as well as businesses with unique employment practices. Caitlin Vega, legislative director for the California Labor Federation, said, “We’ve tried to understand what the concerns were, especially where there are high-wage workers who are not in need of this protection, we’re open to hearing that argument.”

January & February 2019 //











TIM GONSER 209-566-0066




Education - Service - Support

COMMERCIAL ALIGNMENT & TIRES 11191 Vallejo Ct, French Camp, CA 95231

// January & February 2019



January & February 2019 //

// January & February 2019


Volvo Trucks to Demonstrate Volvo VNR Electric Models in 2019 and Commercialize in 2020


e are proud to announce the Volvo of an all-electric powertrain provides even greater VNR Electric, designed to support opportunities to expand its footprint in the regional-haul cities focused on sustainable urban market.” development and fleets operating Introduction of the Volvo VNR Electric models is in a range of regional-haul and part of an innovative partnership, known as LIGHTS distribution operations,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) of Volvo Trucks North America. “The Volvo VNR Electric between the Volvo Group, California’s South Coast Air leverages the versatility of Quality Management District the new Volvo VNR series (SCAQMD), and industry with a proven fully-electric leaders in transportation Volvo Trucks announced that it will powertrain and represents and electrical charging introduce all-electric Volvo VNR regionala strategic stride toward a infrastructure. haul demonstrators in California next year, comprehensive electrified “The LIGHTS project is a operating in distribution, regional-haul transport ecosystem. Cities truly unique opportunity to and drayage operations. Sales of the VNR prioritizing sustainable urban showcase a holistic approach Electric in North America will begin in 2020 development can leverage to electrification of the electrified transport solutions freight transport industry to help improve air quality as we handle ongoing and reduce traffic noise. Cleaner, quieter, fully-electric challenges including electricity generation and battery commercial transport also creates opportunities for optimization,” said Voorhoeve. “We appreciate that expanded morning and late-night operations, helping cut the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the traffic congestion during peak hours.” SCAQMD have recognized our leadership and trusted us The Volvo VNR Electric demonstration units will be to oversee this project that will ultimately result in the based on the proven propulsion and energy storage commercialization of fully-electric heavy-duty trucks. technology currently being used in the Volvo FE Electric In addition to introducing the VNR Electric, through and build on the Volvo Group’s accumulated expertise LIGHTS we will bring a complete in electrified transport solutions. Sister company Volvo sustainable freight solution Buses has sold more than 4,000 electrified buses with end-to-end electrification since 2010. coordination with our many “The Volvo VNR is ideal for partners.” applications like heavy urban “Electric trucks bring many distribution, drayage and other unknowns and our holistic regional applications where focus through the LIGHTS electric trucks will first have project will help our fleet the greatest impact,” said partners transition securely Johan Agebrand, Volvo Trucks and smoothly based on their North America director of individual needs regarding product marketing. “The VNR driving cycles, load capacity, series has received tremendous uptime, range, and other parameters,” industry acceptance since its April said Agebrand. “Within the project, we’ll 2017 introduction and the addition look at everything from route analysis and


January & February 2019 //

battery optimization to servicing and financing. We always aim to offer high uptime and productivity.” CARB has preliminarily awarded $44.8 million to SCAQMD for the Volvo LIGHTS project. The Volvo LIGHTS project will involve 16 partners and will transform freight operations at the facilities of two of the United States’ top trucking fleets. Volvo LIGHTS is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Capand-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.

// January & February 2019


Shell Rotella’s Heavy-duty Greases


eaturing the company’s latest performance additives, Shell Rotella introduces its newest line of heavy-duty greases for all types of industrial vehicles including trucks, tractors and heavy equipment. Its new HD Grease contains ingredients formulated for increased high-temperature oxidation performance and corrosion resistance as well as extreme-pressure and anti-wear stability. The grease is best suited for bearings running at high temperatures and under heavy loads like disc-brake equipped wheels. Shell’s SD Grease is produced with moly solid lubricant—molybdenum disulfide—and is specifically engineered for use on vehicles and equipment under demanding conditions and exposed to high shock loads where quick starts and stops are common, especially affecting chassis points, trailer hitches, axle splines, and sliding pins. Fabricated for both on and off road usage, Shell’s MP Grease provides multi-purpose lubrication for general chassis, springs, pivot points, low-speed bearings and on equipment such as trailers, mowers, lifts and loader buckets. This grease is formulated with a blend of high viscosity index mineral oils and a lithium thickener which enhances performance in a variety of applications. Like MP Grease, Shell’s ET Grease boasts an excellent on and off road formula and is manufactured with high viscosity mineral oils and polymers to promote increased adhesion and retention on exposed surfaces like fifty-wheel plate pivots, wheel bearings, springs, trailers, open pivot joints, and weather compromised equipment. Quite tacky, water resistant and suitable for use in high-temperature situations, MP Grease contains antioxidants and rust deterrents for increased longevity and protection from corrosion.

Utility’s Aerodynamic Trailer Tail


Tailwind Software Teams with Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity platform


eading carrier capacity platform Trucker Tools has teamed with trucking technology developer Tailwind Transportation Software to integrate its Smart Capacity platform into the Pro and Enterprise management system subscription tiers of Tailwind. Trucker Tools offers relationship management, shipment visibility, capacity management, and freight matching applications. Tailwind’s monthly subscription is available for freight brokers and smaller fleets. On its website, Trucker Tools boasts that Smart Capacity is a trucker’s “ticket to unlocking full profit potential, covering more loads in less time” and increasing business faster. Tailwind chose Trucker Tools for its partnership after an exhausting analysis of potential technology platforms. Tailwind President and CEO Murray Pratt said, “When we look for innovative technology, we want long-term partners that bring unique solutions to the market that extend the capabilities of our platform, and who are agile and can grow and develop with us.” Founder and CEO of Trucker Tools, Prasad Gollapalli, pointed out that Tailwind is the latest of many major transportation management system providers to partner with Smart Capacity. “We are providing workflow functionality, capacity visibility, and management tools that help strengthen their product set and extend their capabilities,” Gollapalli said. The Smart Capacity platform produces truckload capacity information with predictive freight-matching data. Integration with Smart Capacity aids Tailwind customers in reducing poor data and wasted effort searching for capacity.


tility’s new Aerodynamic Tail comes as a factory installed standard specification on Utility’s dry vans and refrigerated trailers with rear swing doors to facilitate lower fuel consumption and reduce aerodynamic drag. The tail is manufactured with a UV-protected thermostatic composite material and is made up of two fullheight side fairings and one full-width roof fairing. Connected to the rear doors, the side fairings employ automatically when the doors are closed and return to position when opened. The roof fairing will not interfere with locking rods or lighting. Best of all, the product comes in at a svelte 25 pounds. January & February 2019 //

// January & February 2019


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vwlw hor shwiek FWcw[ ienW swrIAw shUlqW dy huMidAW hoieAW vI tr~k frwieivMg iek AOKw ik~qw hY Aqy hr iksy dy v~s dI g~l nhIN[ lMbIAw vwtW, AOKy pYNfy, rwqW dw aunINdrw, Gr pirvwr qoN dUrI, smyN isr lof phuMcwaux dI kwhl Aqy hor keI prySwnIAw[ pr iPr vI ieh ik~qw pMjwbIAW dy Kuly suBwA nwl myl KWdw hY Aqy qW hI inq nvyN lokI ies ikqy v~l pRyrq ho rhy hn[ tr~k frwieivMg Aqy hor sbMDq ikiqAW ny pMjwbIAW leI qr~kI dy nvyN rwh Koly hn Aqy hor ikiqAW dy mukwbly qy ies ik~qy nwl juVy lokI ijAwdw qyjI nwl Awpxy pYr lwaux ivc sPl ho rhy hn[ pr ies sPlqw leI hr smyN sKq myhnq, iemwndwrI, aucy-sucy ierwdy Aqy aucy AwdrSw nUM hI pihl dyxI cwhIdI hY[ ieQy myrI koiSs Awpxy vloN iksy nUM koeI isiKAw dyxw nhI sgoN ivrsy ivc swnUM jo isiKAwvW imlIAW hn aunW nUM hI Xwd krvwaux dI hY[ swfy gurUAW pIrW Aqy mhwn puriKAw ny swnUM iemwndwrI nwl ikrq krn dw rwh idKwieAw hY[ swfy s~iBAwcwr ivc vI ‘rotI h~k dI KweIey jI BwvyN bUt pwlSw krIey’ rWhI s~cI sucI ikrq nUM auqm mMinAw hY[ AsIN auh lok jo cMgI izMdgI dI Bwl ivc AwpxI jnm BoN C~f ky ivdySw ivc Aw vsy hW aUnW auqy iek hor juMmyvwrI vI hY qy auh hY s~cI s~ucI Aqy iemwndwrI dI ikrq kridAW Awpxy dyS kOm dw nW aucw r~Kx dI[ ienW swrIAw ieiqhwisk juMmyvwrIAW nUM pugwaux dy nwl nwl sB qoN v~fI qy jrUrI g~l hY AwpxIAw nzrw ivc s~cy s~ucy qy iemwndwr bxy rihx dI Aqy Awpxy b~icAW leI iek vDIAW audwhrx bxn dI[ AwpxI sPlqw leI koeI SOrtk~t jW J~tp~t vwlw rwh AKiqAwr nw kroo ijhVw qhwnUM iksy muSkl ivc pw dyvy[ BWvy hr smwj ivc hr qrW dy bMdy Swml huMdy hn pr AwpxI ingwh sdw cMgy bMidAW v~l hI r~KxI cwhIdI hY[ iksy dI sPlqw qoN prBwvq hoxW qy aus vWg sPl hox dw supnw lYxw vDIAw g~l hY pr aus sPlqw ipCy lgI swlW dI myhnq nUM vI Xwd r~Kxw cwhIdw hY[ tr~ikMg nUM Awpxy ikqy vjoN Apnwaux dy PYsly qoN lY ky swry kMm pUrI ivaNuq Aqy isAwxp nwl krny cwhIdy hn[ iksy iek tIcy qy kwhlI ivc phuMcx leI iksy qrW dI smJOqybwzI nw kro[ tr~k clwaux dI tryinMg vI vDIAW skUl qoN lau jo ik AwpxI imAwrI tryinMg ivc mwx krdy hox nW ik CyqI kMm mukwaux ivc[ iksy qjrbykwr frwievr nUM Awpxw ausqwd bxwau Aqy aunW dy qzrby qoN Pwiedw auTwau[ iesy qrW Awpxy tr~k dI sMBwl, AwpxIAW ibjns pRqI juMmyvwrIAw Aqy quhwfy pirvwr Aqy syhq pRqI iksy qrW dw smJOqw nW kro[ Awp ienW aucy AwdrSw dw pwlx kridAW Awpxy Awly duAwly dw vI iKAwl r~Ko Aqy jy koeI quhwfw BweIBrw, sMgI-swQI ikqy fwvWfol huMdw idsdw hY qW auhdw shwrw vI bxo[ quhwfw Awpxy Aqy smwj pRqI cMgw vqIrw hI quhwnUM Agy vDx leI aUrjw idMdw hY[ January & February 2019 //

For buying or selling of any type of real estate in Fresno, Madera and Kings Counties.

Harjinder Dhesi

Realtor - New Homes - Previously Owned Homes - Commercial Lots - Agriculture land & Vineyards RealtorÂŽ, CalBRE# 01976222

559-212-1292 email : Dhesi1292@gmail.com

2416 W. Shaw Ave, Ste. 105, Fresno, CA 93711

We can also help you with your loan process. // January & February 2019


Many Carriers Threatened To Quit After ELDs



our months before the ELD mandate took effect on Dec. 18, 2017, DAT surveyed TruckersEdge users to learn how they planned to deal with the new regulation. Most of the respondents were owneroperators and small carriers, and 30% of them said that they would leave the industry rather than use an ELD. That didn’t happen. While some may have followed through on that threat, the number of active carriers actually has actually grown at a faster rate since the mandate went into place. So, what changed? Source: U.S. Department of Transportation.

Rates surged to record highs in January 2018 and rose even higher in June. Fewer miles, more money Just because carriers didn’t hang up the keys doesn’t mean their productivity wasn’t impacted by the ELD mandate. What were once one-day trips spilled into a second day, as electronic logs provided less flexibility when recording hours of service and some carriers struggled to adapt to changes in HOS enforcement. Carriers bracing for reduced income due to reduced miles discovered something instead: the higher rates in

More money, more carriers In late December 2017 and early January 2018, the combination of a strong economy, holiday-related e-commerce freight, rebuilding efforts following hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and uncertainty around ELDs pushed rates to the highest level DAT ever recorded. The average spot market rate for van freight shot up from $1.67/mile in January 2017 to $2.24/mile in January 2018. Why leave the industry when you’re making the best money in years? And with rates so high, many company drivers and owner-operators who were previously leased-on decided to go independent and start their own carrier businesses.


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// January & February 2019


peak seasons made up for the loss of miles. Those who stuck it out were rewarded again in June when van rates hit $2.31/mile, another record high. Will things slow down in 2019? Now, one year after the ELD mandate, carriers seem to have adjusted, and demand-capacity measures are returning to more normal levels. In the chart above, you can see where the van load-to-truck ratio hit a peak of 9.9 in both January and June but has since dropped to below 2017 levels. Load-to-truck ratios represent the number of loads posted for every truck posted on DAT Load Boards and indicate the balance between spot market demand and capacity. If prices follow suit, it’s likely that the pace of new carriers entering the marketplace will slow. Some of those who originally threatened to quit may decide to leave the industry later than they originally thought.

DAT load boards provide the largest and most trusted digital freight marketplace in the trucking industry, with more than 279 million loads and trucks posted annually, plus insights into current spot market and contract rates based on $57 billion in real transactions.

EPA and Cal Air Resources Board Propose Cleaner Trucks Initiative


n a rare sign of agreement between the Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, the board’s chair, Mary Nichols, believes a nationwide


requirement to reduce smog forming emissions from commercial trucking is viable. To this end, the EPA and Air Resources Board have worked together on the Cleaner Trucks Initiative which is part of the EPA’s attempts at creating a 50-state standard which would make it easier for manufacturers. In a move toward realizing these goals, the EPA recently recommended the first new rules since 2001 for reducing nitrogen oxide, a poisonous gas caused by burning fuels at high temperatures. These new rules come as something of a surprise as recent EPA moves have favored deregulation and the elimination of Obama era requirements for commercial and passenger vehicle

January & February 2019 //

fuel efficiency. The EPA has challenged California’s of electric trucks with incentives like the five-year attempts to mitigate air pollution by strictly regulating $356 million electric infrastructure investment from heat-trapping greenhouse gasses from vehicle’s Southern California Edison. The new plan would tailpipes. The EPA’s attempts to revoke California’s establish nearly 900 charging stations in the utility’s authority are already headed toward a bitter legal service area by 2024. The utility estimates that over fight. Under Obama, the EPA allowed California to set 200,000 medium-duty trucks, vans and heavy-duty higher emission standards than the rest of the nation. trucks will be operational in its service area by 2030. In contrast, the Trump Administration has sought Southern California Edison’s president, Ron to deregulate in areas which it sees as burdensome for Nichols, claims that another incentive for truckers to businesses and detrimental to the economy. Nichols, go electric would be an “electric-only” lane into and however, has reported that “nothing is happening” out of ports at Long Beach and San Pedro where on changes to existing regulations by the feds. In the commercial trucks could go up to 40 mph instead meantime, the Air Resources Board is going forward of the pokey 5 mph which is now the norm in the with more greenhouse gas restrictions. It has also crowded seaports. sued the EPA over caps on glider kits which can be used to retrofit existing truck components. When a new truck body is paired with an older engine, emissions can soar to as much as 40 times the pollution of newer trucks. Nichols also provided kudos to new EPA director Andrew Wheeler (who recently replaced much maligned Scott Pruitt as head of the agency), who she referred to as a pragmatist and “of the view that EPA exists for a purpose other than rolling back programs.” Wheeler fully supports the Cleaner Trucks Initiative. The EPA plans to go forward with the initiative by publishing rules in 2020 with full implementation set for 2024. Undaunted by recent deregulatory forays, California has moved ahead with its goal of reducing emissions Email: Joinkamway@kam-way.com and has already call us at: (360)332-1444 - x 939 reached its 2020 goal, despite reports that emissions are once again on the rise throughout the state. California continues to push for adoption

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January & February 2019 //

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lof-tU-tr~k dI dr fI ey tI dy lof borfW qy hr tr~k dy ipCy post vwly lofw dI rySo hY Aqy mwrikt dI mMg Aqy mwrikt dI smr~Qw ivcly qvwjn nUM drswaudI hY[ jy lofW dy BwA iesy qrW Gtdy rhy qW nvyN Swml ho rhy tr~k kYrIArW dI igxqI vI Gt skdI hY Aqy kuJ auh lokI jo eI AYl fI lwgU hox qy tr~ikMg nUM C~fx dI soc rhy sn, auh vI hux ies kMm nUM C~f skdy hn[ fI ey tI lof borf, tr~ikMg ieMfstrI dI sB qoN v~fI Aqy BrosyXog ifjItl mwrikt hY ijQy hr // January & February 2019


Daimler CEO Bullish On Company’s Electric Trucks


outing his company’s continued advancements in electric truck technology, Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, predicts Daimler will have the “highest number” of commercial electric vehicles on the road by 2020. Nielsen made his remarks during a media event at the American Trucking Association’s annual Management Conference & Exhibition held in Austin, Texas in October. Nielsen’s optimism is well founded as Daimler met with more than 30 customers before the conference who test drove the company’s electric trucks and there are several other customers awaiting delivery of their own electric models for testing. This comes on the heels of last June’s introduction of Daimler’s


all-electric Freightliner eCascadia heavy-duty and eM2 medium-duty models. In September, Daimler also indicated it would invest $155 million in Proterra Inc., an automotive energy and storage company based in Burlingame, California. Proterra manufactures electric charging systems. Nielsen was especially impressed with demonstrations of Proterra technology used in a C2 school bus produced by Thomas Built Buses. He noted that the new buses accelerated rapidly from 0 to 65 mph. Nielsen claims that the “best battery solution” is the key to the electric truck market and, despite the possible delay of Tesla’s electric Semi, he believes it will come down to which company can utilize the most effective storage system. “It’s all about energy consumption,” he said. Nielsen is also not particularly worried about the roll out of the new futuristic looking Semi because he is confident customers will want the familiarity which the Freightliner Cascadia delivers. He argues the Freightliner ensures “a smooth transition from a diesel-powered truck to an electricpowered truck.” Nielsen also warns that much still needs to be done before allelectric big rigs are commonplace. He says it’s more likely that smaller vehicles January & February 2019 //

will pervade the market at first. Questions such as charging, distance limitations, residual value and manufacturing costs will need to be worked out well before all-electric fleets dominate the commercial trucking scene, according to Nielsen.

// January & February 2019

At any rate, it’s clear that the future is bright for Daimler as the company has a backlog of 125,000 vehicles for the North American trucking market. Because of the booming economy, Daimler has had trouble procuring some manufactured parts from unstable supply chains. Nielsen said that when manufacturers are running at peak capacities, problems may occur, and it often requires “extreme measures to get parts to factories.” Nevertheless, Nielsen indicates that Daimler’s research center, announced in June, is going full tilt and the company is “hiring a lot of folks.” On other issues, Nielsen says that although strides have been made in the automated driving space, it is still in its infancy and drivers will remain an essential component for any fleet for several more years. He also said he was less optimistic about platooning, saying it creates a number of problems for trucking firms.


Correction or Recession: Truck Industry Sees Slowing As The Year Ends


mid continued uncertainty about tariffs and a tumbling stock market, it’s not surprising that an index measuring market conditions for trucking companies reports a second consecutive month of steep declines and the lowest reading since August 2017. According to freight transportation intelligence provider FTR, orders for new Class-8 trucks have dipped significantly in recent months with November’s number of 27,500 by far the lowest of the year.


Not only are truck orders down, but leading trucking industry stocks have also plummeted with shares dropping more than 25% since September for leading companies such as Knight-Swift Transportation, down 27%, J.B. Hunt Transportation Service, down 26% and Landstar System, also down 26%. Most Wall Street analysts believe the market is currently experiencing a correction with a possible economic slowdown looming in 2019. “Market valuations for most trucking and logistics

January & February 2019 //

stocks have been correcting,” said Matthew Young, an equity analyst at Morningstar, a Chicago based investment research firm. “It’s become more obvious that freight demand and pricing gains will slow meaningfully in 2019,” he predicted. What had been a white-hot market with massive retail demand and favorable prices has seen consecutive months of slowing. Department of Transportation figures indicate the growth rate for U.S. truck tonnage shipped slowed from 10.1% in June to 5.2% in August. Not coincidentally, these drops correspond with the U.S.-China trade war which the Trump Administration initiated at the beginning of summer. Tariffs, combined with a cyclical slowdown and declining oil prices, have all created lower freight prices. “Lower levels of demand combined with declining oil/fuel prices are beginning to take their toll on trucking industry pricing power,” said Nicholas Colas, cofounder of DataTrek Research. Indeed, oil prices have slipped with West Texas Intermediate crude oil down nearly 40% from its four year high of $76.90 a barrel in October. Although cheaper oil helps truckers with costs, slowing tonnage demands can be a serious long-term challenge. Fortunately, truck makers are not in any trouble yet with truck orders reaching nearly 500,000 since last November, leading to

// January & February 2019

persistent backlogs which extend well into 2019. Truck manufacturers are running at high capacity with an annual rate of 320,000 new trucks being built despite the major downturn in November. While some companies are seeing cancellations, they are nowhere near the depths reached in 2016 at the height of the most recent transportation recession. Truckers, however, are leery of the over-capacity which can be generated during economic booms.


Traffic Congestion Cost Trucking Industry Billions in 2016


new industry analysis estimates that traffic congestion on the nation’s roadways added an additional $74.5 billion in operational costs to U.S. trucking firms in fiscal year 2016. The number represented a $377 million increase over the previous year. The report by the American Transportation Research Institute also said crowded highways and freeways gobbled up nearly 1.2 billion hours of lost productivity, comparable to having over 400,000 truck drivers off the road for an entire year. Lamenting current traffic conditions, Benjamin McLean, CEO of Ruan Transportation, said, “In the face of growing and pervasive congestion, not only does the trucking industry lose billions annually but ultimately the consumer pays the price through higher prices on the shelf.” McLean also called for action on infrastructure from the government, arguing that inaction would “create a significant impediment to the growth” of the U.S. economy. Democrats, who recently won control of the House of Representatives, have promised to make infrastructure a priority and President Trump used the issue as one of his main campaign promises in 2016 so industry leaders are hopeful that improvements are on the way. In a recent press conference Trump said, “Hopefully we can all work together next year to continue delivering for the American people, including on economic growth, infrastructure, trade, lowering the cost of prescription drugs.” Causes of increased traffic congestion in 2016 included more traffic accidents, an upsurge in economic activity and catastrophic flooding in places like Louisiana. Not surprisingly, congestion was at its worst in and around the nation’s cities. Texas and Florida were particularly hard hit, losing $5.5 billion in increased costs. Other congested states averaged a loss of more than $2.4 billion.


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// January & February 2019


Calls For New Infrastructure Spending Build After Midterms


ith Democrats taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives after thumping Republicans in the recent midterm elections, transportation analysts spy a glimmer of hope that Congress, in conjunction with the Trump Administration, will be able to work toward securing funding to address the nation’s badly deteriorating infrastructure. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has signaled she is willing to work with Trump on rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges. Even before election results, Pelosi said, “One of my themes is build, build, build. Build the infrastructure of America from sea to shining sea. Not only surface transportation but broadband and water systems.” Seemingly on the same page, Trump told Fox Business News in October, “infrastructure is going to be started after the midterms and we

think that’s going to be an easy one.” Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), the new chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is taking Trump at his word and has already scheduled hearings on infrastructure improvements when his

committee meets in January. One stubborn obstacle, however, to the best intentions of Trump and the newly empowered Democrats is where to find funding for much needed projects. Ballooning budget deficits and the inability of the two parties to compromise on even the smallest issues will hamper lawmakers from passing a comprehensive fix to the country’s infrastructure woes.


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Experts fear that, as in the past, politicians are all talk and no walk on rebuilding. President Obama said infrastructure would be a priority in his second term, yet very little was actually achieved. Trump made infrastructure spending a mainstay issue during his successful 2016 campaign for president, but, once in power, Trump and the Republican controlled Congress never got around to addressing the problem, other than vague rhetoric and a couple of White House photo opportunities labeled as “Infrastructure Days.” In fact, many economists believe the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which reduced corporate tax rates from 35% to 21%, has hamstrung the federal government so that new spending will be difficult to achieve as the deficit jumped from $587 billion in 2016 to $779 billion in 2018 with trillion-dollar deficits looming in the future. In response, Democrats in the House have indicated they would attempt to roll back some of the tax reforms to pay for infrastructure. Whether this will get anywhere in the Republican controlled Senate is doubtful. Trucking leaders such as Jeff Davis, senior fellow at the Eno Center for Transportation, remains dubious that anything can be done, saying, “when it comes down to it, you have to pay for it.” One option would be to ask taxpayers for additional funding in the form of user fees for local and state improvements. In California, voters passed a 12-cents a gallon tax on gasoline and a 20-cent hike on diesel in 2016 to fund

// January & February 2019

new infrastructure and, in 2018, soundly defeated an initiative that would have repealed the tax. California, it seems, is an exception to the rule as other states, including Colorado, Washington and Missouri, have rejected similar increases. One thing appears certain, the U.S. will eventually have to wrestle with the infrastructure issue as decades old roads, bridges, airports, railways and electrical grids continue to fray and interfere with economic growth.


Non-preventable Crashes Come Under Review By FMCSA


ood news may be on the horizon for truckers recently involved in crashes as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requests information from fleets regarding accidents not caused by the truck driver, but initiated by another motorist, a pedestrian or failing infrastructure. While no fault of the operator, these accidents often count against carriers’ scores in the FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) program. The CSA is a safety and compliance enforcement tool which holds drivers accountable for their own safety record. Truckers who have past safety problems come under the scrutiny of the program which uses interventions such as warning letters and investigations. A company’s safety data is updated monthly by the program’s Safety Measurement System (SMS). The FMCSA began accepting input for its Crash Preventability Demonstration Program in August and last week renewed its call for submissions from fleets and owner-operators. The end game is to identify and review crashes which were not the fault of the driver but still showed up as a negative mark on the CSA database.


Submissions can be made to the agency’s DataQ website.

The FMCSA has listed eight areas of accident types which are eligible for review and potential elimination from the SMS: • When a truck was struck by a driver under the influence or a related offense • When a truck was struck by a motorist driving in the wrong direction • When a truck was hit in the rear • When a truck was hit while legally stopped or parked • When a pedestrian or car drives in front of a truck in an attempt to commit suicide • When a truck sustains disabling damage after hitting an animal in the road • When a crash is caused by an infrastructure failure or falling trees, rocks or debris • When a truck is hit by cargo or equipment from another vehicle According to the agency, “compelling evidence that the crash was not preventable” must be presented by the trucker in order to qualify to have the incident stricken from the database. Truckers should attempt to submit evidence such as police reports, video footage from dash cams and insurance reports. Crashes must be marked non-preventable to qualify for review. January & February 2019 //


















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January & February 2019 //

// January & February 2019



January & February 2019 //

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