Impressions from Mexico: Part 1

When it comes to trucking productivity, let’s just say Mexican fleets have it made. No hours of service, no real presence of weigh stations or enforcement and size and weight standards that are astronomical compared to the United States — 80 metric tons weight limit and 32 meters total combination length (you do the math on those).

And let’s just say that I’ve seen and heard things on my recent trip through Mexico that would get even the least-stringent U.S. safety managers fired. The trucking industry south of the border is extremely fractured. With only 100 fleets in operation with more than 100 power units, much of the trucking industry here — with an estimated Class 8 tractor population of 625,000 power units — is run by small fleets and independent contractors. In many ways, the U.S. perception of the Mexican trucking industry operating like the Wild West holds true.

But I’ve also seen some fleets with remarkable safety standards and performance. Tune in Wednesday as I share my impressions of some of the safety-conscious fleets that we met on the trip.

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