May Trucking Updates: The Latest News on Trucking Regulations, Forecasts and More

THUD Appropriations Bill

Last week, the House Appropriations Transportation Subcommittee released its 2020 fiscal year spending bill, which will now move forward to the full committee for markup.(1)  It is important to note that the bill contains several trucking provisions listed below if passed:

*Funds cannot be put towards the enforcement of any rule that would eliminate the 30-minute rest break nor can they be used in conjunction with any petition that would preempt state meal/rest break rulings.(1) 

*Qualified carriers hauling livestock or insects would be exempt from ELD regulations through fiscal year 2020.(1) 

*The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would be allowed to publically publish CSA data as long as it adheres to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act’s reforms on such.(1) 

*Underride guards would be included in inspections. 

RI Truck-Only Tolls 

Starting July 31st, the state of Rhode Island will be gradually adding new truck-only tolls, ranging from $2.00 to $9.50, at a rate of one new location a month starting with Route 6 at the Woonasquatucket River Bridge, for a total of 10 new locations by April 2020.(2)  According to RIDOT, “For RFID (i.e. E-ZPass) equipped tractor trailers, tolls are limited to once per day, per direction and there is a cap of $20 for a through-trip on I-95 as well as a daily cap of $40 per day no matter how many tolls a tractor trailer goes through.”(2) 

Younger Drivers Pilot Program 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is currently seeking public comments on a pilot program that would allow 18-20 year olds to operate a CDL out of state.  Whereas current law allows 18-year-old intrastate tractor trailer drivers, you must be 21 years or older to become an interstate commercial driver.  By this age, many are concerned that the younger generation will already be on a career path, turning away possible prospects to industry.  In accordance to the Fixing American’s Surface Transportation Act, a pilot program is currently being initiated that would allow 18-20 year old drivers to travel interstate IF they operated a commercial vehicle while serving in the military; however, the agency is now looking to pilot another program for all 18-20 year olds regardless of military experience.(3) 

Hours-of-Service Changes 

The long awaited changes to current hours-of-service regulations are expected to be published by the DOT on June 7th.  Such changes come on the back of the electronic logging device mandate and are anticipated to provide greater flexibility.   

What’s to Come 

Last year, the trucking industry accounted for the transportation of 10.77 billion tons of freight, according to the American Trucking Association, hauled by 3.5 million drivers, only 5.8% of which were women.  Positions within the trucking industry are expected to grow 6% by the year 2026.(4)  The truckload sector, in which 90% comprises of those carriers operating fewer than 6 trucks, is expected to grow in revenue from $116 billion to $167 billion by 2025, according to Plunkett Research, while the LTL industry is expected to grow as well during that same time period, from $48 billion to $69 billion.(4) 

Stay tuned to Road Scholar Transport’s News Room as we continue to bring you the latest industry news.