Today’s Pickup: Roadcheck might lead to a lot of trucks–and drivers–taking a nap


Good day,

If you’re a law enforcement agency and you’re going to crack down on violations of something, should you announce that in advance? That’s the question raised by the anticipation next week of International Roadcheck, when various agencies throughout North America will be—theoretically—ramping up inspections out on the highways. What’s humorous is looking at various social media channels were truckers congregate, and the independent owner operators are declaring their intention to stay home for the week, or at least the June 5-7 window for Roadcheck. This is the first Roadcheck since the ELD mandate went into full force on April 1, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance which governs Roadcheck says Hours of Service rules will be the focus. Still, it’s mostly independent owner operators who are declaring their intention to stay away. If a driver works for a dedicated service, for example, that option doesn’t exist. Last year, about 62,000 checks were made, so clearly, there’s a critical mass upon which to implement Roadcheck. But prices are set on the margin, and what will be the impact on rates of an undetermined number of drivers sitting it out for a few days?

Did you know?

This month’s U.S. jobs report showed 6,600 new trucking hires in May. That figure largely reverses the decline of the prior month. 


There were 566 comments submitted to the docket. Approximately one-half of them addressed issues other than this regulatory guidance, such as electronic logging devices (ELDs), other aspects of the HOS rules, and other provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Some commenters suggested specific revisions to the FMCSRs, which are beyond the scope of regulatory guidance.

–From the FMCSA guidance on the 150-mile exemption from HOS rules for the agricultural sector, noting how many of the commenters in the search for guidance on the issue went significantly off topic.

In other news:

Who should pay for truck parking?

One argument is that truckers should pay for it. (HDT TruckingInfo)

Businesses voicing concern over tariffs

A wide range of industries are concerned about the steel and aluminum tariffs. (WSJ)

Now that’s a big screen TV

It’s always good to get the full picture. (Twitter)

A popular radio show is now going to be available online

From SiriusXM to streaming over the web (LandLine)

The outlook for females in the trucking sector

Canadian panel on women in trucking talk about their careers. (Truck News)

Final Thoughts

The guidance issued by FMCSA Thursday on the 150-mile agricultural exemption from Hours of Service rules, and the clarification on the definition of personal conveyance, is mostly a win for drivers. In particular, FMCSA acknowledged indirectly that finding parking is a huge issue under the ELD mandate. The clarification allows a driver to take a laden truck—clarifying that laden is acceptable, which also is a change—and moving it to a parking spot without that movement counting against HOS limits. Of course, this is a complex issue and that means it’s never that simple. The conveyance rule also said if a truck is moved closer to its ultimate destination, that counts against HOS rules. But what if the parking spot is closer to the destination that is going to be reached the next day? But we digress. It’s difficult to look at anything in the clarifications that were handed down and think that driver considerations were not taken into consideration, and acted on overwhelmingly in the drivers’ favor. The comment period definitely seems to have worked here. As a driver on the Trucker subReddit on that platform wrote: “I was worried it would be much worse!”

Hammer down everyone!

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.

One Comment

  1. These rules make it difficult to do the job. Any ambiguity leaves it up to the digression of the officer. How does he prove his worth by the number of laws that he inforces his proof is in the tickets he writes. Most human beings who are taught to do a job are then conditioned and motivated daily this repetition leads to a competitive aggression much like a military. Where the shoes are spit shned haircuts are high and tight and the officer begins to train his body for combat. We as truck drivers have to deal with this daily. We are approached by the D.O.T as if we are criminals and up to no good.
    Yet, just to get a job in the trucking industry our background is picked through with a fine tooth comb and we have to be squeaky clean.
    These rules that our government has shackled us with are boarderline human right violations. All of this weigh for us to bare in the name of safety which any one with common sense knows it’s all about fleecing us of our hard earned money. Are their not any lawyers to date willing to go up against the government, the insurance companies, or the shipping companies etc. I can guarantee you as a practice we are violated by these entities daily as we go about our lives just trying to scratch out a living to provide food and shelter for our families.