Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023:
ATA, state associations call on governors for parking funding
The American Trucking Associations, through its federation of 50 state associations, on Wednesday called on the governors of every state to prioritize truck parking with their infrastructure spending priorities.
In a letter sent to every governor, ATA and state trucking associations spelled out the numerous new resources provided by the federal government, including new funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, to improve and expand truck parking facilities.
“Construction of new truck parking capacity at rest areas or adjacent to private facilities is eligible for funding, as are improvements that allow for increased parking capacity at nontraditional locations, such as weigh stations and commuter lots, when appropriate,” the letter said. “Some states have already utilized these resources to increase parking capacity or improve the operational efficiency of existing facilities.”
The letter cites a U.S. Department of Transportation report that found that 98% of truck drivers regularly experience difficulty finding safe parking. ATA and the state associations added that 70% of drivers have been forced to violate federal hours-of-service rules because of this common scenario.
“Truck drivers are the backbone of our society and our economy,” the letter said. “Without them, the daily conveniences we take for granted — from fresh water to fuel to the literal roofs over our heads — would not exist. We urge you to examine the availability of truck parking within your state and take such actions as are necessary to ensure that truck drivers have a safe place to sleep when they are out on the road delivering more than 70% of America’s freight.”
Truck Safety Coalition calls for action on speed limiters, AEBs
The Truck Safety Coalition this week called for “immediate action” from federal agencies to advance rulemakings that it believes will increase highway safety.
TSC recently compiled data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and found more than 5,700 people died in crashes involving large trucks in 2021.
The group added that truck crash fatalities have increase 71% since 2009 and, as a result, “more action is needed to combat this deadly rise in crashes,” TSC said.
The Truck Safety Coalition is now calling on Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation “to aggressively pursue commonsense solutions to reduce truck crash violence on our roads.” Efforts TSC wants the government to make include:
TSC also called on FMCSA to require new motor carriers to pass a knowledge exam to prove they know and can implement Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).
“People can and should expect their government to keep them safe from the carnage large trucks cause on our roads and highways,” said Zach Cahalan, TSC Executive Director. “It is time for Congress and DOT to fulfill this expectation without reservation.”
[Related: 68 mph? FMCSA backtracks after ‘inaccurate’ reveal of speed-limiter intentions]
Canadian grocery chain deploys two electric Volvos
Volvo Trucks North America customer Loblaw Companies Limited, the largest food and pharmacy retailer in Canada, has deployed two Volvo VNR Electric trucks to service its grocery stores in the Greater Montreal Area.
The zero-tailpipe-emission Volvo VNR Electric trucks deliver cleaner air and reduced noise and will be leveraged to transport products to the company’s stores in the Greater Montreal Area.
“It is a win-win opportunity to support customers who share our commitment to a sustainable future, so we are honored to be to be part of this journey with Loblaw as they work to transition their fleet to fossil-free solutions,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president, Volvo Trucks North America. “Loblaw has been purchasing Volvo trucks for more than 25 years and we have worked to provide them with dependable, efficient, and innovative solutions that meet their evolving needs. Now, with the adoption of the Volvo VNR Electric, we are taking our partnership to a new level, uniting in our commitment to decarbonizing the transportation industry.”
Loblaw deployed two Volvo VNR Electric 6×4 tractors with a six-battery pack configuration and a range of up to 442 kilometers (275 miles), both of which will operate out of the company’s distribution center in Boucherville, Quebec, on routes that cover approximately 200 kilometers a day across two eight hour shifts.
To support its battery-electric trucks, Loblaw installed four chargers including a 175 kW high-power fast charger. The Volvo VNR Electric trucks have a battery capacity of 565 kWh and can be fully charged in approximately 90 minutes. The trucks will be maintained and serviced by authorized Volvo dealer Camions Volvo Montreal.