The transportation spending bill advanced by the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 21 fixes wording in earlier legislation that muddied what would be the status of the 34-hour restart if a study by the Department of Transportation cannot show that the restart changes benefit drivers.
The HOS provision in the FY2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill also aims to prevent drivers from abusing the restart rule by capping the amount of time they can spend behind the wheel or on duty at 73 hours per week.
The bill’s language puts it this way: “If the 34-hour restart rule in effect on June 30, 2013, is restored, then drivers who use the 34-hour restart may not drive after being on duty more than 73 hours in a 7-day period.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Brindi Trailer Sales and Services for illegally terminating a driver who brought up safety concerns about his truck.
Shortly after being hired by Brindi in 2011, the driver began notifying the company of defective equipment on his truck, including ineffective brakes, steering issues, non-functioning turn signals, leaks and a cracked windshield, according to OSHA. He requested the problems be fixed but the company refused.
In February 2012, the driver contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation about the issues. The truck was inspected and 16 violations were found. The truck was pulled from service until the repairs were made. When the driver notified Brindi, he was discharged. The driver filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA, which found merit in the complaint.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed an appeal to challenge a new regulation mandating electronic logging devices for interstate truckers, saying the device won’t improve safety and is in violation of constitutional rights.
The OOIDA represents small-business truckers and in its appeal of the ELD mandate called the devices arbitrary and capricious, saying that it violates 4th Amendment rights against reasonable searches and seizures. The association stated its arguments in a legal brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
“The agency provided no proof of their claims that this mandate would improve highway safety,” said Jim Johnston, OOIDA president and CEO. “There is simply no proof that the costs, burdens and privacy infringements associated with this mandate are justified.”
LOUISVILLE, KY — Wabco North America says air disc brakes are now selling at a high enough rate that it is building a plant in the United States to manufacture them instead of importing them from Germany.
The company is spending $17 million to erect the factory in Charleston, S.C., said Jon Morrison, Wabco’s president, Americas, at a press briefing Thursday, just before the opening of the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.Production will begin this fall, and will help bring down the cost of ADBs for truck buyers.
Disc brakes’ advantages over drum brakes include better performance, longer pad life, easier maintenance, and fewer out-of-adjustment problems that lead to citations. Millions are being used in Europe and have proven safe, reliable and economical, Morrison said, and the word is getting out here.
DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — Daimler Trucks Monday unveiled the Highway Pilot Connect, a truck platooning system that has already been approved for use in a limited area in Germany, while its Highway Pilot autonomous driving system has been approved for use throughout the country.
The company says the new platooning system offers up to 7% lower fuel consumption and correspondingly lower CO2 emissions, plus only half of the previously required traffic space
Watch: In the cab of the Freightliner Inspiration TruckDaimler originally unveiled the Highway Pilot in Germany in 2014 in a demonstration as part of its Future Truck 2025 initiative. They followed up in 2015 with the Freightliner Inspiration Truck in North America, and then put the Highway Pilot into a standard Mercedes-Benz Actros.
A hybrid electric-drive trailer tandem is being developed by group of engineers who promise substantial fuel savings and fast payback. The device, which for now has no official name, is under road testing and should be ready for the market in mid-2017, according to officials at Hyliion Inc., in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The system captures energy during braking and as a tractor-trailer runs downhill, and reapplies energy through a drive axle to help the truck launch and accelerate from a standstill and run uphill. Operation is completely autonomous and, except for an on-off switch, the driver has no involvement.
Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced in a March 11 blog post that DOT will hold two public hearings, one in Washington, D.C., and one in California, to get input on “how to best integrate the safe operation of automated vehicles.”
The first hearing will take place April 8th in Washington; a date for the California event has not been announced.“The feedback from these meetings will help the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration provide manufacturers with the rules of the road for how we expect automated vehicles to operate safely,” Foxx wrote.
With all the buzz about the future of connected vehicles and driverless cars and trucks, there’s an important component that needs to be addressed, and that’s the infrastructure these vehicles need to interact with.
Some states are already working on some projects in this area, reports Governing. http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-driverless-cars-states-infrastructure.html
For instance, take something as seemingly simple as lane markings. Freightliner’s Inspiration Truck, which it debuted last year to showcase autonomous technologies, has a lane keeping system that builds on the current lane departure warning technology using a stereo camera system to maintain trucks’ lane position. The camera recognizes lane markings and communicates through the computer controls with the steering gear – but there have to be lane markings it can recognize.
You may be close to being able to order an electrically powered Class 8 tractor. TransPower’s Class 8 ElecTruck is completely battery powered and thus produces no emissions of any kind.
The developer, Poway, Calif.-based TransPower, offered us a drive of one of its 11 in-service Class 8 trucks last summer. We were bobtailing, but the results of the company’s five years of engineering testing were impressive.