Top 10 headlines of 2012

Updated Jan 3, 2013
Here at the editorial offices of Randall-Reilly, which produces both Commercial Carrier Journal and Overdrive magazines, we like to joke that government agencies never seem to fail to provide us editors with a “Christmas present” in the form of a proposed or final rule in the days between Christmas and New Years, causing a mad flurry of phone calls and reporting in an otherwise quiet period of the year. Case in point was 2011’s hours-of-service final rule published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration during the last week in December.

Barring a last-minute announcement, however, 2012 will go down as a quiet year in terms of proposed and final rules, regulations and standards issued by government agencies. But OEMs filled the void with plenty of news of their own. Here are the top 10 trucking industry news stories for 2012 based on page views at CCJDigital.com as of Dec. 19:

 

10. FMCSA committee eyes sleep apnea regulation. A joint committee of the agency’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and Medical Review Board recommended mandatory sleep apnea screening for drivers with a body mass index of 35 or higher;

9. FMCSA makes changes to CSA. Showing its willingness to improve what many in the industry assert is a flawed system, FMCSA in August announced changes to its Compliance Safety Accountability program after a four-month preview period. The changes took effect last month;

8. MTI Transportation ordered to shut down. Calling the carrier a “chameleon operation,” FMCSA ordered the Alabama-based carrier to cease all operations after safety investigators discovered the company was hauling goods for two carriers with out-of-service orders;

7. ATA takes agency to court over hours-of-service rule.The American Trucking Associations will have its day in court on March 15 in its lawsuit against FMCSA for what it says is “misunderstood science” regarding the new mandatory 30-minute rest period in the HOS final rule;

6. FMCSA formally rescinds EOBR final rule. After a court decision that vacated FMCSA’s 2010 final rule mandating electronic onboard recorders, the agency now is obligated by language in the highway bill to issue a new EOBR final rule later this year;

5. CARB serves notice with 4,000-truck inspection. In August, the California Air Resources Board and enforcement agencies issued 817 citations during a four-week “Gear Up for Clean Truck Month” campaign for failure to comply with air pollution laws;

4. FMCSA takes 287 drivers off the road. During a two-week sweep in early May, FMCSA examined drug and alcohol records of commercial drivers. Also, 128 truck and bus companies face enforcement actions for violations related to inadequate testing procedures;

3. Demco Express ordered to shut down. The Euless, Texas-based carrier was ordered to cease all operations after multiple HOS, driver qualification and drug testing violations;

2. First Kenworth K370 cabover goes to Coca-Cola Refreshments.The soft drink giant ordered seven of the Class 7 trucks that come standard with the 6.7-liter Paccar PX-6 engine; and

1. Navistar changing exhaust technology for 2013. No story grabbed more attention in 2012 than Navistar’s conversion from exhaust gas recirculation engine emissions technology to selective catalytic reduction. After an interim final rule allowed the company to pay fines and continue to sell engines that didn’t meet 2010 emissions standards and a subsequent lawsuit by other OEMs, a federal appeals court rejected the ruling. Navistar entered a parts agreement with Cummins for SCR aftertreatment on Navistar’s MaxxForce engines.

With a new EOBR final rule pending, HOS compliance in July – barring a court victory by industry groups – and the likelihood of a Safety Fitness Determination proposal or rulemaking, 2013 is shaping up to be a big year for regulatory news, but what 2013’s Top 10 list will look like is anyone’s guess.

 

**Editor’s note: This article was published Wednesday and included the Caterpillar CT660 introduction in the list. While the CT660 story was one of the most-read articles this year, it was removed from the list since it was originally posted in 2011.**