Today’s Pickup: Are loans the path to better highways?

road construction

Good morning.

Two senators this week are pitching a bill that would create a private “bank” to fund infrastructure projects in the U.S. The Building and Renewing Infrastructure for Development and Growth in Employment Act would seek a $10 billion initial federal investment and then would screen and approve loans to cities and states for projects. The senators, Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), believe the program could make up to $300 billion available through interest payments and fees charged to those borrowing money.

Did you know?

According to data compiled by the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association, more than 40,000 new CDL holders are registered each month by the Department of Transportation.


“I signed up for Uber Freight this morning because I believe that the more tech tools I have in my toolbox, the better armed my business is to compete for success.”

- Jimmy Nevarez, an owner-operator from Chino, CA, in an interview with

In other news:

I-85 bridge reopens

Just six weeks after a section of the I-85 bridge in Atlanta collapsed due to an intense fire, the state has replaced and reopened the span. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was on hand to praise the state for such quick work. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Truckers intrigued, but taking a wait-and-see approach to Uber Freight talked to some independent truckers, some of whom have already signed up for Uber Freight’s new app and others who are interested, but the common theme among all is a patient approach to the service. (

Trump notifies Congress of NAFTA reset

While not pulling the U.S. out of NAFTA, the Trump administration did make official notice yesterday to Congress that it intends to renogogiate the trade deal with Mexico and Canada. (Supply Chain Dive)

Daimler Trucks to test autonomous tech on new track

Daimler Trucks has opened an Oregon test facility that will be the home to vehicle testing. According to company officials, the $18 million track will be used to validate truck designs and for testing of autonomous trucks and technology, connective technologies and platooning. (CCJ)

Benchmarking done right

One of the best ways to measure the performance of your fleet is through benchmarking. Joseph Evangelist, executive vice president of Transervice, provides some tips on how to do that the right way in this blog post. (Fleet Owner)

 It took just six weeks for Georgia to rebuild the I-85 bridge, due in part of a big financial incentive for the contractor to finish the work early. Maybe there is a lesson there to lessen the impact of construction on travel?

Hammer down everyone!

Brian Straight

Brian Straight has covered the U.S. trucking and transportation community for more than 10 years, winning numerous regional and national editorial awards, including a Jesse. H. Neal Award. Prior to working on FreightWaves, Brian spent 10 years at industry trade magazine Fleet Owner, and prior to that managed daily newspaper editorial operations.