Trucking Updates: What You Need to Know This Month

Freight Index:  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, freight transported via trucks, rail, air, waterways and pipelines decreased nationwide by 0.8% in June.1  The loss was mainly suffered by trucks and waterways while freight via air, intermodal and rail carloads saw an increase in freight.1

Self-Driving Trucks:  Nevada may be seeing its first test run of driverless electric trucks soon.  Tesla is expected to unveil its truck next month which they plan on testing across California and Nevada.  While a discussion has already been completed between Tesla and Nevada officials, officials acknowledge that the company has not applied for a testing license yet and will need to do so prior to operating on the road.2

Sleep Apnea:  Groups, including the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), are appalled by the Trump Administration’s decision to abort a proposal requiring drivers to be tested for sleep apnea.  The decision comes off of the administration’s promise to “relieve industries of regulatory burdens.” 3The NTSB’s Christopher O’Neil noted that medical fitness and fatigue show a correlation with sleep apnea, accounting for two of the group’s “10 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements for 2017-2018,” with their investigations over the last 17 years finding sleep apnea as the probable cause of ten deadly accidents. 4

Medicinal Marijuana:  29 states have currently legalized the medicinal use of marijuana as more and more drivers are testing positive in applicant drug tests.  While laws are being created that would prevent employers from penalizing employees who test positive when utilizing it for medicinal needs, federal law maintains a zero-tolerance policy for both medicinal and recreational marijuana in the trucking industry. 5

ELDS:  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is reminding everyone that all electronic logging devices (set to go into effect Dec. of this year) must be registered on their website in order to be valid. 6  “It’s not an ELD unless it’s listed on our website,” says FMCSA’s Danielle Smith.  “That’s going to be part of what you do during an inspection; you’re going to verify that it is a registered ELD.”6

Food Safety Modernization Act: In order to help motor carriers comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act’s regulations for the safe transport of food, the Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference and American Frozen Food Institute made available an online self-assessment tool which will provide a report indicating what areas a carrier needs to take action in order to comply as well as solutions.7The self-assessment tool can be purchased at https://fsmatool.org/collections/ata.

Stay tuned to RoadScholar.com for more industry news.

 

1https://transportationtodaynews.com/news/4886-freight-carried-nationally-fell-0-8-percent-june/

2http://gearsofbiz.com/tesla-is-developing-an-electric-self-driving-truck/6190

3https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/trump-administration-withdraws-plan-to-test-truck-bus-and-train-operators-for-sleep-disorder/2017/08/08/c3c2ce3a-7b8e-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?utm_term=.22c29f425ddb

4https://www.medpagetoday.com/pulmonology/sleepdisorders/67215

5https://www.trucks.com/2017/08/14/trucking-contemplates-pot-legalization/

6http://www.ttnews.com/articles/elds-must-be-registered-fmcsa-official-reminds-safety-inspectors

7http://fleetowner.com/regulations/aftc-launches-fsma-compliance-tool