Today’s Pickup: Driver training rule again delayed

Truck driver training

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is again delaying a rule that many in the industry asked for – entry-level driver training. The rule, issued last year, was set to take effect in February of this year, but has since been delayed twice. The new date for implementation is June 5.

The rule would require new drivers to show proficiency in both knowledge and behind-the-wheel training before being issued a commercial driver’s license.

The delays are part of the Trump administration’s desire to revisit and review Obama-era rules. According to FMCSA, the latest delay is “consistent with the Jan. 20, 2017, memorandum” and allows for further review of the rule.

Did you know?

That trucking pays an average of 51.8 cents per gallon in diesel fuel taxes. That includes 24.4 cents in federal tax. State taxes, which vary by state, average 27.4 cents per gallon.

Quotable:

“We’re throwaway people. Nobody cares about us. Everybody’s perception of a truck driver is we clog up traffic, we get in the way, we pollute the environment.”

- Greg Simmons, truck driver from Hastings, FL, in New York Times profile of truck drivers’ lives on the road

In other news:

Schneider expands intermodal operations

Schneider has added an intermodal ramp in Baltimore, adding to capacity in the mid-Atlantic region. It gives the company access to points north and south not previously serviced. (Inbound Logistics)

Alone on the open highway

What’s life on the road like for truckers? The New York Times talked to truckers to get a better understanding about the lives they lead. (New York Times)

Battery technology could further extend vehicle range

Researchers are working to develop more powerful battery technology that would allow utilities to turn sun and wind power into on-demand energy sources. The same technology could also soon be used to extend the range of electric vehicles. (Wall Street Journal)

Spot, contract rate gap narrows

The gap between spot rates and contract rates is closing, according to new data. The reason is uncertain, although it could be contracts are being renewed at lower rates. (Transport Topics)

UPS to charge for variations to peak seasonal volume

UPS has said it will begin charging customers who reserve volume during peak times but then fall short of meeting that reservation. (Supply Chain Brain)

For many of us, we have never had to live on the road like truckers do on a daily basis. They deserve a lot more respect for that than what they get. If you want to get a better understanding of what life is like on the road and a sampling of how truckers feel, we’d encourage you to read the New York Times story mentioned above.

Hammer down everyone!